15 min­utes of care is not enough

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Called Suf­fer­ing Alone at Home, it found that 57 per cent of home­care work­ers have been asked to pro­vide per­sonal care in 15 min­utes or less.

Pub­lished by pub­lic ser­vice union Uni­son, the re­port is based on an on­line sur­vey of 1,100 home­care work­ers and on data ob­tained from a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest.

Out of the 152 au­thor­i­ties polled 19 were in the South East, 79 per cent of which - 15 - were reg­u­larly us­ing the quar­ter of an hour vis­its.

UNI­SON gen­eral sec­re­tary Dave Pren­tis said: “It is heart­break­ing and dis­tress­ing many el­derly and dis­abled peo­ple are not be­ing cared for in a hu­mane and dig­ni­fied man­ner. Home­care work­ers have shared their har­row­ing sto­ries with a strong sense of sad­ness, guilt, anger, and so­cial care, the cri­sis is so great that any ex­tra cash will barely touch the sides. It will also be of lit­tle help to de­prived ar­eas – where the need for home care vis­its is greater.

“With the chal­lenge of an age­ing pop­u­la­tion liv­ing longer, care plan­ning and ad­e­quate fund­ing ul­ti­mately dis­gust, at a bro­ken home­care sys­tem.

“Home­care work­ers are of­ten the only face some peo­ple see all day, and they are a life­line – only they can call for help and en­sure that the house­bound peo­ple they care for are fed, washed and well.

“Al­though the govern­ment is go­ing to al­low lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to raise coun­cil tax to fund so­cial care, it should be a govern­ment pri­or­ity and it clearly is not. Rushed 15 minute home­care vis­its should have no place in a mod­ern, car­ing so­ci­ety.”

Trevor Boyd, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, com­mu­ni­ties, health and so­cial care at BCC, said: “We are very clear that all our ser­viceusers re­ceive the care and sup­port they need at home. In some cases it is en­tirely ap­pro­pri­ate to in­clude a 15 minute call as part of the per­son’s over­all care they re­ceive from Adult So­cial Care.

“For ex­am­ple, a per­son might have a 30 to 60 minute call for bathing and dress­ing, but also a 15 minute call at a dif­fer­ent time of the day to check they are okay and have taken their med­i­ca­tion, heat their lunch, or help them to the toi­let. There are a va­ri­ety of rea­sons for a 15 minute call to be ap­pro­pri­ate.

“How­ever, if a carer finds that the ser­vice-user needs more than 15 min­utes then the carer would be ex­pected to stay and also re­quest, where ap­pro­pri­ate, for the visit time to be ad­justed.”

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