Two-thirds of British councils commission 15-minute home care visits

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Photo: Monkey Business Images/Rex Features

Two-thirds of councils in England, Scotland and Wales commission 15-minute home care visits, according to a freedom of information (FOI) investigation by Unison.

Regional figures show that 88% of Scottish councils commission 15-minute visits, compared to 83% in Wales and 69% in England.

Unison is using the findings to promote its ethical care charter, which advises against commissioning 15-minute visits “as they undermine the dignity of the client”.

We have mapped the data provided by the 160 councils who responded to Unison’s FOI request according to whether the council provides in-house home care or commissions private or voluntary sector providers:

London boroughs:

Quotes from home care workers:
 
“I have worked as a home care worker for 15 years. It’s appalling the level of care clients receive now. No home cooked meals, no time to chat. More clients getting 15-minute visits. As you don’t have time, mistakes are going to be made. Dementia clients are rushed, which is the worst thing you can do. It’s depressing and upsetting.”
 
“It’s far too rushed now. I worry I will miss something by not having the time to listen to what my elderly ladies say. They don’t think at the same pace as we do and often forget. In the past, by taking the time to listen I’ve discovered care needs that would otherwise have been missed.”

“A lot of the elderly people I care for are old and lonely. They are not only in need of physical support, they are in need of company and someone to talk to. The time given to these people are the bare minimum, no time to chat just in and out.”

Map by Ben Hamilton

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