Indexed on: 07 Jul '07Published on: 07 Jul '07Published in: Journal of aging & social policy
A key trend in home care in recent years in England has been movement away from "in-house" service provision by local government authorities (e.g., counties) towards models of service commissioning from independent providers. A national survey in 2003 identified that there were lower levels of satisfaction and perceptions of quality of care among older users of independent providers compared with in-house providers. This paper reports the results of a study that related service users' views of 121 providers with the characteristics of these providers. For the most part, characteristics associated with positive perceptions of quality were more prevalent among in-house providers. Multivariate analyses of independent providers suggested that aspects of the workforce itself, in terms of age and experience, provider perceptions of staff turnover, and allowance of travel time, were the most critical influences on service user experiences of service quality.