Switch of emphasis to home care urged

Home care should be promoted more vigorously as an alternative to
residential care, a conference was told last week.

Lucianne Sawyer, president of the UK Home Care Association, told
the organisation’s annual conference that there had been too much
emphasis in England and Wales on care homes.

The conference in Edinburgh was told more money should be invested
in home care and improved conditions for staff.

Association chairperson Bill McClimont said the pressure on
providers to deliver an increasingly complex and diverse service –
while adhering to an increasing number of regulatory requirements –
had to be met by adequate funding.

He said the cost differences in providing services at a local level
needed to be recognised by purchasers.

Yvonne Apsitis, vice-president of the association in Wales, warned
that new national standards and a national commitment to developing
home care services in Wales would be undermined by lack of status,
poor pay and unsocial hours for home care workers.

Her warning follows a study commissioned by the Welsh assembly that
revealed that 62 per cent of home care workers had considered
leaving their jobs, and 58 per cent are older than 45, with younger
people deterred by poor conditions.

Apsitis said the service needed “a major overhaul”, including
guaranteed minimum hours, training and better pay.

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