UK Domiciliary Care market report
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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Domiciliary Care market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.
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Covered in this Report
The market for domiciliary care covers a broad range of healthcare services provided in the home. This ranges from home help services, such as assistance with shopping, ironing and cleaning, through to the provision of meals and assistance with rising and retiring, as well as high-tech healthcare provision. Much of the market involves the supply of services to the elderly, but domiciliary care is also provided to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities, as well as those recently dismissed from hospital care.
Adult social care is estimated to contribute nearly £42 billion to the economy. It employs around 1.45 million people, with the majority of jobs split between residential and domiciliary care employers (just over 40% each). Adult social care can help individuals, and the families of people who need care and support, to carry on working.
This report covers the provision of domiciliary care services by a range of organisations, including:
- Local authority provision, including the supply of meal services, day centres, occupational therapy, and consumer monitoring, social alarms and telecare. Local authorities purchase domiciliary care services through a range of providers, including the direct purchase of LA providers; voluntary services, which are operated by charities and religious organisations registered with the LA; and private service providers.
- Private purchase of domiciliary care, including informal care, includes the provision of services purchased directly either by, or on behalf of, the customer. Typically, this includes private clients who are either ineligible for LA domiciliary care provision, those who prefer a private provision rather than LA services, and those who are topping up LA packages.
- NHS community health services, including care related to the early hospital discharge and rehabilitation of patients and the provision of high-tech domestic healthcare and healthcare services. This includes community nursing services providing direct nursing services, such as control of incontinence, drug administration and some forms of social care; community psychiatric nursing; community learning disability services; specialist nursing such as HIV, terminal care, continence and ostomy care; as well as occupational therapy, physiotherapy and chiropody services. Community health and para-medical services are typically purchased by health authorities or GP fund-holders, and are provided by community NHS trusts.
- Informal domiciliary care refers to care normally provided to individuals requiring low intensity care and is frequently used to supplement LA and private domiciliary care. Informal carers often help with day-to-day tasks, such as shopping, housework, ironing and gardening. The sector includes individuals who offer services and assistance, typically in local newspapers. Friends and family, predominantly women, offering companionship also represent a marginal proportion of the informal domiciliary care market. Reliable, official data on the value of informal care is scarce so an evaluation of the market is subject to interpretation, particularly the hourly value of informal carers’ time.
This report also examines the relatively new telecommunications-based care services offered throughout the UK. The terminology of this sector is still being determined, with telecare, telehealth, and telemedicine often used interchangeably. Indeed, many services offer some overlap between the three. For this report the following definitions are used:
- Telemedicine has been used for the longest period of time, and is defined by the World Health Organisation as “the practice of medical care using interactive audio visual and data communications. This includes the delivery of medical care, diagnosis, consultation and treatment, as well as health education and the transfer of medical data.”
- Telehealth is the provision of health services at a distance using a variety of technologies, including telephone services, such as NHS 111, and video consultations between patients and clinical professionals.
- Telecare is the remote delivery of health and social services to people in their own home by means of telecommunications and computerised systems, typically referring to alarms and detectors that provide continuous remote monitoring of emergencies and routine changes, using the information gathered to trigger human or electronic responses, such as initiating an emergency visit from a carer or alerting a nearby family member via pager.
What you need to know
The UK market for domiciliary care rose in value between 2013/14 and 2017/18 by a cumulative 3% - despite total market value falling by £1.2 billion in the first two years of the review period.
While the market is believed to have remained at a fairly consistent value over the last five years, the commercial sector is expected to represent just over a fifth of total market value. This also comprises the direct private sector supply and voluntary informal sectors, which meet the needs of the vast majority of low intensity contacts.
Expert analysis from a specialist in the field
Written by Lewis Cone , a leading analyst in the Healthcare sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.
Independent care providers are already well-established in the market and are expected to offer services to those with ‘substantial’ care needs, as well as all other care clients. However, the ever-widening gap between the fees paid by LAs and the actual cost of service provision means some providers could refuse to provide services in certain areas, or leave the market altogether.
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