While the U.S. home care industry has faced its fair share of headwinds in recent years, the situation faced by home care providers in the UK appears much more dire.
In fact, rising wage levels are pushing providers out of business and bringing the entire industry to the point of collapse, according to a report by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), an independent research and information organization based in the UK.
Of the 2,581 home care companies in the UK, 25% were at risk of insolvency and 69 shut down within the last three months, according to Opus research for the BBC, The Financial Times reported.
A lack of funding, coupled with rising wages, a rising shortage of nursing staff and tighter immigration rules, have continually pushed the home care industry to the brink, according to the report, which was spearheaded by UK home care company Mears with LGIU.
Even the added $2 billion in extra social care funding over the next three years is will not be adequate to cover the losses of home care companies in the UK, the FT reported.
The UK home care industry is dominated by small companies with an average net worth of £314,000, while a handful of companies have assets in the multi-million pound range. Part of the growing problem stems from this fragmentation of the industry.
The UK has also changed the home care eligibility threshold, which means fewer elderly residents are receiving state-funded home care as the population of seniors continues to rise, according to the FT.
Written by Amy Baxter