Patients are coming to serious harm by a lack of regulation of the private companies in the homecare medicines sector, according to a damning report by the House of Lords Public Services Committee.
The failure of regulation, noted the Lords, means that:
“No one—not the Government, not NHS England, not patient groups, not regulators—knows how often, nor how seriously patients suffer harm from service failures in homecare.”
Not only are patients being harmed, but the lack of transparency in contracts and procurement means nobody knows how much the companies are being paid, despite it being billions of pounds, which the Lords described as “shocking and entirely unacceptable.”
Over half a million people with chronic conditions in England depend upon the delivery of medicines to their homes. These types of services known as ‘homecare medicines services’ often also include help in administering the medicine. They replace care that would previously have been supplied in hospital.
The main providers are private, for-profit, companies, with Sciensus, Healthnet Homecare, and Alcura, among the largest companies involved.
Full story in The Lowdown, 28 November 2023