Charity slams 15-minute care visits
Published on 07 October 2013 01:00 PM
A charity is calling for an end to 15-minute care visits after discovering they have grown more commonplace over the last few years.
Leonard Cheshire Disability said care workers who spend just 15 minutes with older or disabled people 'deprive' them of essential care.
In a new report, the charity analysed data from 63 local authorities and found that 15-minute visits are now standard practice in about 60%.
Overall, the proportion of these 'flying' visits is thought to have risen by 15% over the past five years.
‘We should demand better from our councillors'
Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, said care visits should be at least 30 minutes long.
She added: 'Every day, many disabled and older people in the UK receive personal care, it is disgraceful to force disabled people to choose whether to go thirsty or to go to the toilet by providing care visits as short as 15 minutes long.
'Most of us need 40 minutes to get up, get washed and dressed and have breakfast in the morning. None of us would want our family and friends to receive 'care' visits as short as 15 minutes.
'We should demand better from our councillors and remind them that disabled people are real people with real feelings and should be treated as they themselves would wish to be treated - with kindness, with care and with respect.
'It is vital that Parliament backs our call to end the indignity of rushed care which thousands of disabled people face every day. The clock is ticking and this crucial Care Bill vote is peers' last chance to stop this practice for good.'
‘Local authorities are struggling to meet the rising demand'
Katie Hall, chair of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, added: 'Significant cuts to council funding mean local authorities are struggling to meet the rising demand for home care visits. Unless local government finance is put on a sustainable footing social care will remain substantially underfunded and services will suffer as a result.
'We agree that 15-minute visits should never be the sole basis for care and councils do not base their provision of support on such an approach. However, in some circumstances such as administering medication they can be appropriate, but only as part of a wider comprehensive care plan involving longer one-to-one visits.'
However, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) argued in favour of the short visits.
ADASS president Sandie Keene said 15-minute visits can sometimes be 'fully justified, and fully adequate', adding: 'It is totally wrong to believe that all tasks need more than 15 minutes to carry out. And frankly naive to believe that simply by abolishing 15-minute slots a magic wand will have been waved, and improvements automatically achieved in our care services. It doesn't work like that.'
Copyright Press Association 2013