Elderly care still rationed in minutes

Times Newspaper front page article – “Elderly care still rationed in minutes”

Councils commissioning very short homecare visits made front page of the Times newspaper this morning. As part of UKHCA's on-going campaign to address the implications of inadequate commissioning, the letter below has been sent to the Editor of the Times.

"Sirs,
Highlighting the outrage of very short visit times for people receiving care at home is a huge public service.
Research by the Homecare sector’s professional body shows that councils are now commissioning two-thirds of all homecare visits in 30 minutes or fewer, and 14% in less than 15 minutes.

Over a third of all homecare providers tell us that the amount of care councils now require them to cram into short visits cannot be done with sufficient dignity. Almost 1 in 10 believes safety is already at risk.

Council chiefs and politicians should check how much of their daily routine of washing, dressing or meal preparation can be undertaken in half an hour or less. They should then imagine how little could be achieved if they were so frail or disabled that someone else has to help.

Central and local government needs to re-assess the low priority they are giving to older and disabled people as they plan their budgets. Otherwise, the situation can only get worse."

At Home Instead we provide unique ongoing care that adapts to our clients’ changing needs, which starts with a minimum call time of 1 hour as we believe that this is the least time required to deliver support to older people with respect and dignity.

It also allows us to stimulate, encourage and assist our clients without the time constraints usually associated with the care system.