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Published 21 May 2015
On 19 May 2015, The Guardian newspaper published an article on Homecare Businesses in the UK and the factors that are negatively affecting the financial viability of the homecare market, to the detriment of hospitals and care homes that will see resources stretched should the homecare business sector become financially non-viable. Here, Rosalind Ashcroft, partner at law firm DAC Beachcroft, takes a pragmatic view on the topic.
"If fully implemented, the Care Act 2015 and the statutory guidance issued on the Act ought to make a real difference to the pricing and sustainability issues affecting the domiciliary care market.
"The new legal framework requires local authorities to promote a market for high quality, sustainable care in their area, and to agree care costs that reflect the price of quality local provision. But these requirements have come into force at a time of further financial pressures on authorities and, as the article states, the issues in the care market are likely to end up in the CQC in-tray, with increased pressure on other public services.
"However, there is also a real possibility that this issue will be played out in the courts, through legal challenges from providers and/or service users to failures to apply the clear terms of the Care Act. We have been here before with provider challenges under the old legislation: the new legislation provides new "hooks" for judicial review challenge to decisions by local authority decisions on the pricing of care fees and the types of services commissioned.
"The really interesting case would be one in which a local authority seeks to convince the court that they simply cannot afford to implement the Care Act, without making equally unpalatable cuts to other key services."
To view the full Guardian article, please click here.