The local government trades union, UNISON, has condemned local councils who insist on providing 15-minute homecare visits for elderly and disabled people.
Research last year by the local Lib Dems found that Bury provided 200,000 home care visits of 15 minutes or less in a year. The research showed that on average 549,000 home care visits were provided – 37% were of 15 minutes or under and 4% 5 minutes or under.
Sign our Petition to end 15 Minute Care Visits in Bury here.
Find out more about UNISON’s Save Care Now campaign here.
A new report by UNISON reveals that 74% of councils are still commissioning 15-minute homeware visits. The union says that these councils are acting against National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on homecare.
And UNISON believes that the lack of time homecare workers are given to provide care symbolises an “escalating crisis” in the homecare system.
A report “Suffering Alone At Home“, published by the union in January, contains a number of personal experiences of homecare workers, which help to illustrate the human cost of the cuts.
It also includes a new survey of 1,102 homecare workers. Of these:
– 58% have been given just 15 minutes or less to deliver personal care for homecare users;
– 57% have been given just 15 minutes or less to deliver personal care for somebody they have never met before
– 61% have not had enough time to provide a dignified level of personal care to a homecare user aged over 90 years;
– 74% believe they do not have enough time to provide dignified care for their homecare users.
UNISON gleaned its information about local authority operations under the Freedom of Information Act. It found no improvement in the attitude to 15-minute homecare visits in the past year, with councils ignoring the recent NICE guidelines – among these, that care workers should spend at least 30 minutes on home visits to older people in England.
Homecare workers speak out
“It makes me feel angry, ashamed and embarrassed…. Service users feel let down by workers constantly changing, coming at different times every day and being in a rush to do the job and move on because of their time constraints.”
“I hate not having enough time with dementia clients, because they tend to be very lonely.”
“Not being able to spend longer with clients who are terminally ill makes me feel as if I’m shortchanging them – and makes it seem as if I don’t care about them.”
“A lot of the elderly are lonely, and if we have to leave early you are taking away one of their few opportunities for some company.”
“It’s disrespectful. These people have lived through wars to become reliant on help. It feels like you’re abusing them or their rights.”
“In the past I have been the only person to see a service user on Christmas day and their birthday. It makes you feel very sad and you just try to do your best to make it a bit more special.”
“12 years experience didn’t prepare me for the feeling of failing a person.”
“Guilt, that is what you feel. I am not in this type of work just for a wage. I want to make a difference to people, more so to those who have no-one. I want to let them know there are people who care.”