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20th February 2013

Boom times for health and social care if service providers observe ‘compassion caveats’

ONS study of unpaid care in England and Wales

In the decade from 2001 - 2011 the number of unpaid carers in England and Wales increased by 600,000 to a total of 5.8 million or 10% of the population. The rise in those providing 50 or more hours per week jumped by 270,000 to 1.4 million, an increase of 25%. These figures, taken from the ONS study of unpaid care in England and Wales 2011, were published last week by the ONS site and reported on by the BBC.

There are many facts behind the figures, and most would acknowledge the significance of the aging population and the cost of care. In the South-East an average care home place without nursing costs £594 and the equivalent nursing home place £821. (Source: NfP organisation

The trend may also be shaped by the issues of unpaid carers. Many unpaid workers made the decision to give up work because it makes better sense to care for a relative rather than work to pay for a care home place. However, for others the decision may be shaped by a starker reality; income from paid work may be insufficient to pay for care.

There are also the wishes of potential service users to be taken into account; there is no shortage of horror stories which are picked up and amplified by the media; neglect and mistreatment is fuelling fear: “Please, don’t put me in a home,” is the plea of many that may be on the threshold of needing care now or in the future.

Good news for the health and social care sector

The numbers are good news for entrepreneurial service providers in the health and social care sector. For those looking to enter the market or planning to expand existing operations, in ‘cold’ business terms, there is a significant market opportunity to be exploited.

However, there are two ‘compassion caveats’ around this opportunity that cannot be sidestepped, overlooked or ignored in the quest for profit. If the market opportunity is to be maximised, then Cost and Credentials (the 2 ‘C’s if you will) need to be at the top of the agenda for all service providers.

  • Costs must be maintained at affordable levels for average working people
  • Credentials must establish impeccable care quality and compassion

Failure to observe these will lead to a situation where the barriers for many potential service users will be insurmountable. A cost point that is too high means that the numbers of unpaid carers will continue to increase and the perception of poor standards of care through incidences of neglect and mistreatment will simply make the collective cry of “Please, don’t put me in a home,” even louder.

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QCS compliance management enables costs to be reduced by creating a more efficient approach to meeting CQC regulations:

  • Best use of time is not wasted research CQC compliance matters
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QCS compliance management raises the bar and drives higher standards of care quality by enabling service providers to exceed CQC regulations:

  • Framework approach prevents loopholes and omissions
  • Reduces risk and provides certainty in ’high risk’ areas such as care planning , infection control and medications
  • Policies and procedures customised to the needs of each service provider
  • Enables registered managers to quickly respond to service user needs and compliance issues

Make sure you position your business is in line with the ‘compassion caveats’. The more service providers observe this, the more they contribute to creating a climate with lower barriers to new service users. Use QCS compliance management to drive lower costs and create impeccable care quality credentials for your own business.

Click here to register for a FREE trial of QCS compliance management.

Follow this link to the ONS website to see ‘2011 Census Analysis: Unpaid care in England and Wales, 2011 and comparison with 2001’.

Click here to see the story ‘More than one in 10 providing unpaid care’ at


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