Health Select Committee Member, Andrew George MP, has commented on today’s BBC report following a Freedom of Information request which suggests that most Councils in England are paying less than the industry recommended minimum for personal home care.

The investigation by BBC Radio 4s File on 4 programme found that the average minimum rate paid by Councils was £12.26 an hour. The UK Homecare Association wants them to be paid a minimum of £15.19 an hour

Mr George, who has been pressing Government Ministers to introduce “benchmark standards” to improve support for homecare workers, said:

“I fully understand the pressure on local authority budgets. But we must get this right. Most people want to stay at home rather than go to hospital and hospital managers want to keep people in their homes for as long as possible and discharge them as soon as they can. But we can’t carry on if home care policy involves cutting corners and an “out of sight out of mind” attitude.

“We should value the work of homecare workers. This would provide a sound foundation for the whole health service rather than placing patients in a climate of uncertainty in a service dependent upon threadbare resources.”