My local rag reported this week that a care provider went out of business leaving clients in the lurch. Admittedly it was a small one with only about 20 clients in my area who were the story indicated fairly easily accomodated by one of the big providers (though no doubt a few people made a lot of phone calls, sent a lot of faxes and stayed in the office very late) so no real crisis, but could it be a canary? I'm not on the inside anymore, but I can take a guess that the trend of squeezing providers is still going on - probably even more so. Due to the strategy of our commissioning team the money we were paying for care fell about £5 an hour from £15 to around £10 in my time which was 2004-2009, but how sustainable is this system and who is paying the price? Being a labour intensive inustry the bulk of the £5 an hour will probably be wages so where does this leave care staff and what effect does it have on recruitment and retention?