Worrying news about the financial health of home care providers in the UK in yesterday’s Financial Times.
For some time austerity has meant inadequate local authority funding for private care providers. The Southern Cross debacle and the travails of Four Seasons raised questions about private equity ownership in this part of the care industry.In simple terms care is a long term business and private equity incentives are notoriously short term. We need to find alternative ways of owning and financing care providers.
On the domiciliary care front Buurtzog offers a better model. It was started by nurses and a social enterprise that trains well, pays well and trusts its teams to manage themselves. Reduced hospital admissions and excellent employee engagement are the result.
Any government serious about reducing pressure on NHS hospitals would be developing a radical strategy now to reward innovation in care.
In Norfolk and Suffolk this is something Tomorrow’s Company is exploring with the help of the University of East Anglia. In the combined Cambridge and Peterborough Authority the elected Mayor has set up a Public Sector Reform Commission to explore options and I am delighted to be one of the five commissioners.
Care is one of the most vital growth areas for C21 work, skills, investment and imagination and its time we dragged it away from its transactional, minimum wage image to a proud public service vocation.