UKHCA welcomes Unison’s report ‘Suffering alone at home’ released today which highlights the acute lack of time in the homecare system. Unison found that 74% of councils in England are still commissioning homecare visits of 15 minutes or fewer and these are still being used for personal care.
UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, commented:
“We believe that the use of short visits is a result of the underfunding of care by government and councils. We fear that the use of very short visits will increase, as funding is set to deteriorate.
“Our concern is that assistance with washing, dressing, using the toilet or meal preparation is being crammed into insufficient time. The risks are that not all the necessary care can be delivered in the time available; older and disabled people feel that their care is rushed and undignified; and careworkers find their work unsatisfying and can’t provide the care they desperately want to deliver.”
Unison’s findings support UKHCA’s research in 2012 which found that in England 10% of visits were 15 minutes or fewer and 73% of visits were 30 minutes or fewer.
NICE homecare guidance published in 2015 states that homecare visits shorter than half an hour should be made only if they do not compromise dignity or safety and:
- the home care worker is known to the person, and
- the visit is part of a wider package of support, and
the visit allows enough time to complete specific, time limited tasks or to check if someone is safe and well.