Care for the elderly - Privatising elderly care could save £50m

Posted on 09 February 2011

Letting independent companies look after home and residential care for the elderly could save as much as £50 million per year in Northern Ireland, according to the Independent Health and Care Providers (IHCP) group.

The non-profit organisation suggested that the move, which may affect those paying for long term care, would make the system more efficient and relieve pressure on the public purse, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

"Put simply, there isn't the money to go around any more, and we need to find new ways of providing services for the care of older and vulnerable people whilst retaining and augmenting the quality of service provided," Hugh Mills, chief executive of the IHCP, told the newspaper.

According to research by the group, the average hourly cost of care would be £12.77 if elderly care were to be privatised, compared with £20 now.

It follows news that the Scottish government has put forward reforms that propose bringing local authorities and health boards closer together to provide better services for older people.

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