Unison describes treatment of those receiving care as an outrage

Posted 08/10/12

The latest report into care by public sector union, Unison, says the current system of homecare is failing the people who receive it and the people who provide it.

The report, published 6th October, reveals widespread concern from homecare workers that short visits and changing client lists are severely impeding their ability to provide quality and continuity of care.

Care company, Home Instead, is calling for urgent change in the commissioning of care by local authorities in order to ensure people are given a choice when selecting how their care is delivered, and by whom.

Nationally the government supports direct payments and local budgets which were put in place to give individuals increased independence and choice. However, too often those in need of care are told they can only use direct payments and individual budgets with a provider on the local authority’s preferred supplier list i.e. a block contract provider.  This list is also used to signpost individuals who do not qualify for funded care.

Companies, like Home Instead, who refuse to enter into block contracts on the basis that they force agencies in to providing care in short duration 15 and 30 minute calls, are therefore ignored by local commissioners. And this is despite the fact that they are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Commenting Trevor Brocklebank, CEO of Home Instead says, “The report by Unison follows hot on the heels of last month’s Which? report. I was deeply saddened to read the findings in both reports. Our older citizens deserve so much better.

“We will continue to campaign for choice to ensure that families and their loved ones are aware of the diversity and quality of services available to them. We will also continue to voice our concerns for the way in which contracts are operated by many local authorities which is, in our opinion, seriously flawed and does not allow for the provision of a quality-led care service.

“I accept that there is a requirement for shorter duration task-based care but this cannot be accepted as the norm as it does not allow carers to focus on the needs and dignity of the individual.”