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Almost half a million households received 2.5 million hours of home help or home care services during a single week...
Almost half a million households received 2.5 million hours of home help or home care services during a single week in 1996, according to figures published in a Department of Health statistical bulletin.

The same survey of community care services in England found that around 800,000 meals were delivered and over 600,000 day centre places were provided.

Figures from the bulletin show that:

Home help and home care services

-- around 500,000 households received 2.5 million hours of home help or home care services during the survey week in 1996 - an increase in total contact hours of 4 per cent, and a reduction in the number of households of 4 per cent compared with the survey week in 1995

-- households received an average of 5 hours contact during that week (around the same as in 1995), although 22 per cent of total contact hours were spent with households requiring more intensive service (5 or more hours and 6 or more visits), compared with 20 per cent in 1995

-- the bulk of home help and home care services are provided directly by local authorities, but the independent sector contribution has grown - from less than 5 per cent of total contact hours in 1993 to 36 per cent in 1996

Meals services

-- around 800,000 meals were provided by or on behalf of local authorities during the survey week, representing a decrease of 6 per cent on 1995; of these, the majority (over 80 per cent) were delivered to clients' homes

-- local authorities provided almost 60 per cent of the meals delivered to clients' homes but less than 40 per cent of those served at luncheon clubs, the rest being delivered or served by private or voluntary organisations, contracted by a local authority or health authority

Day care

-- over 600,000 places were being provided by over 4,600 day centres during the survey week, an increase of just over 1 per cent in the number of places available compared with the 1995 survey week

-- about 52 per cent of centres and 79 per cent of places were provided directly by local authorities, a fall from the 1995 survey week (56 per cent and 82 per cent).

-- there are more places, per 10,000 population, for those aged 65 and over than for those aged under 65 (208 and 95 per 10,000 respectively); of those places for people aged under 65, the majority (66 per 10,000) are for people with learning disabilities.

The report is based on a survey of services during one week in September 1996. It follows a statistical bulletin, ref 1997/8, which contained summary figures, and provides more detailed information at local authority level on meals services provided at home and at luncheon clubs, home help and home care services and day centres in England.


1. The information in this publication is derived from three statistical returns introduced for the first time in 1992 in connection with the community care reforms implemented from April 1993. The statistics relate only to services purchased or provided by local authorities; services provided by the voluntary orprivate sector without any local authority funding are not covered.

2. Press copies of Community care statistics: Day and domiciliary personal social services for adults, England 1996, Detailed statistics (reference HMD/96), are available from the Department of Health Press Office, tel: 0171 210 5221. Other copies can be obtained free of charge from: Department of Health, PO Box 410, Wetherby, North Yorkshire, LS23 7LN. Fax: 01937 845381. Electronic copies of the tables are available from Statistics Division 3B, Room 451C, Skipton House, 80 London Road, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6LH. Tel 0171 972 5582/3/5.

3. The statistical bulletin published in April 1997, entitled Community care statistics 1996, Personal Social Services: day and domiciliary services for adults, England, is available from HMSO, price£2, ISBN 1858395593.

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