Budget 2020 is approaching and the Government are no doubt looking at ways of supporting businesses and families through this crisis until normal life, or near to it, can be restored.
They will be looking at tax cuts to alleviate the pain for families and tax incentives to encourage businesses to invest and create jobs.
Because of high unemployment caused by the pandemic, one area they could look at as an opportunity, is to direct funding towards sectors that use a lot of human capital. Home care is one of those and demand for services is increasing rapidly.
What better way to spend money than creating meaningful jobs in a sector where demand outstrips supply and is expected to do so for the foreseeable future.
Yes, we could upskill people to work with existing corporate providers but the issues of poor wages and limited career progression opportunities, might not attract sufficient numbers. Leakage to corporate overheads could also dilute the impact.
Instead, how about turning caring into an attractive sought-after career, by upskilling some people to take on this work as local mini entrepreneurs. People working for themselves in a tax compliant manner, delivering care and support directly to families in their locality. This would ensure better rewards and more attractive career prospects, thereby attracting more people.
Home care delivered in this manner, also has the potential to create significant local economic activity and importantly help build local community spirit. Communities helping themselves can be a powerful and unifying force especially in these times of crisis.
In budget 2020, the government need to increase funding to home care but any increase provided for in the budget must be used in a way that gets maximum impact.
To achieve this kind of impact, we would need a change in how we commission home care, bringing in more widespread use of personal budgets and also have a more practical approach to risk and safe guarding. If done, the prize could be significant in terms of local employment, regional economic activity and better plus more available home care.