Home Instead Senior Care response to the inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Home Instead, one of the UK’s leading providers of care at home, has welcomed today’s publication of the findings of an inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into standards of social care of elderly people in the UK. The inquiry has exposed fundamental flaws in the structure of social care services and exposed evidence of appalling neglect and lack of respect in the care of elderly people.

Trevor Brocklebank, head of Home Instead in the UK, fully endorses these findings and has been working since he founded the company in the UK to change the face of ageing by delivering high quality care, helping people to remain in their own homes for longer. He comments:

“This inquiry is long overdue.  I started Home Instead in response to the lack of good quality home care available for my own grandfather. That was in 2006 but sadly we are still hearing appalling stories from elderly people and their families everyday.  In our opinion, the constraints on cost and length of home visits imposed by the contracts operated by many local authorities prevent any hope of a quality-led services being delivered. Local authorities’ budgets are being squeezed, corners are being cut and there is too much emphasis on minimising cost rather than maximising quality.”

The inquiry findings are based on evidence gathered from local authorities, 250 home care providers, home care staff and over 500 written submissions from older people and their families.

Evidence of people being left in bed for hours on end, not washed regularly and having to repeatedly explain personal details to a string of ever-changing care staff paints a grim picture of life for a person relying on social care services.

Trevor continues: “If these people were your relatives you would like to know that there is a better way.  Unfortunately, these findings are so common and it comes back to the fact that carers are expected to deliver care in an impossible timescale, often as little as fifteen – twenty minutes.  In contrast, at Home Instead we tailor our care to the needs of the individual which usually means visits with a minimum duration of one hour.  Clients are carefully matched with regular caregivers, providing continuity and the opportunity to build relationships and treat people with compassion and respect.”

Trevor believes that care providers need to take more responsibility for the situation, he says:  “If they continue to accept a tendering situation where the price they are being paid means their main focus has to be on cutting costs as the only method of being financially viable, then the situation will only continue to deteriorate.  Sadly there are opportunistic providers who will bid at virtually any price to win these contracts putting quality providers out of business when they have put in bids that would enable them to provide a quality of service at a fair price.”

Home Instead specialise in providing care to older people, all their processes, procedures, training and recruitment methodologies are focused on providing the best possible type of care to older people, rather than the more generic ‘one size fits all’ care solutions that are typically available.

Globally Home Instead has more than 900 offices and began UK operations in 2006. Home Instead is extremely proud of the level of care it provides its clients and is proud to have won the NHS NW Dignity In Care Award.  This success demonstrates that there are options for care providers to be extremely successful without the need to take low margin, high volume contracts from local authorities that inevitably lead to low quality care being provided to older people.