Cost of living: ‘I’ve been left without carers for five months’

Posted: October 17th 2022


This story tells how the interface between fuel costs and low numbers of carers is impacting on vulnerable people in rural settings. It tells us:

The BBC has spoken to people around the country who have lost access to care. One woman said she had gone a week without "a proper wash" earlier this year, while another said she was left with no care at all during her husband's working hours.

With the cost of living crisis surging and food costs spiralling, a survey of 509 care providers - employing more than 69,300 care workers and supporting about 118,000 people in their own homes - has revealed how petrol price rises have affected them.

More than half said some staff had handed in notice or left because they could not afford to pay for petrol or diesel for their cars, while 59% said they had staff who intended to seek work elsewhere.

And more than three-quarters of the providers who responded to the survey said staff had requested a fuel allowance raise. "The fuel amount we now have to pay means we are literally working on the brink of closing the company," one provider said.

The Homecare Association, which represents providers across the UK and conducted the survey, says high fuel prices have led to an "exodus of homecare workers".