Charity calls for an end to 15-minute homecare visits
Caring Times, February 2014
Leonard Cheshire Disability wants the Government to put a stop to 15-minute visits by homecare workers. In a survey by the charity of members of Health and Wellbeing Boards from 40 councils 95% said 15 minutes is not enough time to help people wash or get out of bed. More than half (58%) thought the Government should set standards on flying care visits.
The survey amongst local councillors shows:
- 95% them say that 15 minutes is not enough time to help people wash and get dressed in the morning.
- Half of the councillors also say there is increasing pressure to commission 15 minute visits
Leonard Cheshire Disability Campaign Director Jane Harris said: “Disabled people, councils and the public are all saying that Government must act decisively to end 15 minute flying care visits.
“The Prime Minister said this week that pensioners deserve to live with dignity. Having to choose between having a hot drink and going to the toilet is the exact opposite. This is not acceptable for a civilised society in the 21st century.
“Parliament must seize the opportunity today to give every older and disabled person care visits that are long enough to live with dignity. If MPs don’t act, we expect to see more of these visits, which would be disastrous for disabled and older people today and in the future.”
The charity contacted Health and Wellbeing Board members from councils across England to explore their views on care commissioning. An 84 year old woman who receives a 15 minute visit in the afternoon, who could only speak out anonymously because her previous care provider warned her not to talk publicly says: “When I have these short care visits I have to choose between a meal, drink or going to the toilet. The visits are company. I get really lonely and I rely on the visits of my carers, but I know they are never stopping long.
“How can the Government cut anymore? We are supposed to be a civilised country. Getting enough support is such a worry for me. I am stuck in a room all the time and I can’t depend on them (the Government).”