February 2016 Unison Report Challenges Adult Care


Unacceptably short 15-minute home care visits to elderly and disabled people are still plaguing the care system in England, a report by Unison claims. Councils are not meant to schedule 15-minute visits for personal care, like help with washing, dressing or eating.

But the union said its findings showed many were still doing just that despite repeated calls for longer visits. Guidance issued last year by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said visits should last at least 30 minutes unless it was for a quick check-up as part of a wider package of care, such as calling in to make sure someone has taken medication. Around 500,000 people in England currently receive home care - with over 70% of those getting contributions from councils and another 1.5 million rely on family and friends for support.

 Three-quarters of councils reported they used 15-minute visits although a third said they were for quick checks for justifiable reasons. However, three-quarters of care staff filling in the online survey complaining they did not have enough time to provide dignified care.

Half reported they had been asked to provide personal care for people they had never even met before with carers reporting they were left feeling angry, ashamed and embarrassed by the standard of care they could provide.

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