What factors determine how quickly you can find home care in the UK?

Providing Care
5 min read
Nicole. Nicole

Accessing home care services can be a crucial step in maintaining quality of life and independence, particularly for individuals with health concerns or disabilities. However, the speed at which you can find home care is influenced by a multitude of factors. Understanding these factors is essential for individuals and families navigating care and seeking urgent assistance.

In a recent article by the Caring Times, Ed Davey, warns of a “National emergency” due to “bed blocking” taking up 1 in 3 hospital beds, but why is this happening?

“Thousands of people are being left stranded in hospitals every day waiting for the care they need, while the NHS buckles under the strain.” - Ed Davey

For many care seekers, it may look as though there simply aren’t enough Care Assistants or care providers in place to help fix this disparity. However, in reality, the current system to find care, which relies on old-fashioned phone calls to multiple providers, takes too long and is just too inefficient to keep up with demand. This is why Pairly has developed a real-time availability system to take the guesswork out of finding care and reduce the time it takes to mere seconds.

Urgency and Complexity of Care Needs

The urgency and complexity of care required significantly impact the speed of arranging home care services. For urgent or complex needs, such as post-operative recovery or palliative care, you may receive care fairly quickly. Unfortunately, due to the high demand for care, some people are subjected to longer hospital stays until suitable care becomes available. If you are unsure of your care needs, use our Care Estimator to help you make an informed decision regarding your care needs.

Availability of Care Providers

Availability of care can include location, capacity and the type of care you need.
Geographic location plays a crucial role in determining the availability of home care providers. Urban areas typically have more options, while rural regions may have fewer care providers, leading to longer wait times for services.

The capacity of home care providers to accommodate new clients directly influences wait times. Many providers are experiencing high demand and limited capacity across the UK. Home care has been particularly impacted as it can be hard to schedule 15min to hour-long appointments effectively for a large number of clients.

To see whether a care provider in your area has the availability you need, use our availability checker to match with providers in your area. Click here to find care.

Referral Process and Assessments

In certain instances, a referral from healthcare professionals or social services is required to access home care services through the NHS. The efficiency of the referral process profoundly impacts the speed of accessing care.

Prior to receiving home care, a care assessment of support and the creation of a care plan is needed. While some care providers will arrange a care assessment within a week, it may take others longer, so it is always worth calling around if your needs are urgent.

Personal Preferences and Requirements

Personal preferences and specific care requirements vary among individuals and can influence the speed of finding suitable home care. Home care is a very personalised service and many individuals who receive care have a specific way they like things done. Speaking to one home care provider, they reiterated that whether the individual has Dementia, Physical Disabilities or other illnesses, everyone is different and care isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

Navigating the process of finding home care in the UK can be stressful and confusing, especially if you have never been in the position of needing care before. If you require care, taking these factors into consideration and using a platform such as Pairly can help you match with available care providers and reduce your search time.

Need to find care? Click here to start your search.