Tougher checks may be introduced to ensure home care workers are not forced to rush visits to the people they are there to help, under proposals to be outlined by care minister Norman Lamb later today.
From next April, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is proposing to look at whether home care visits are long enough to respond to people’s needs.
It will also consider looking at how staff working conditions might be impacting on care. Issues under consideration may include:
- Whether the service is able to respond to people’s needs in the allocated time
- Whether care is delivered with compassion, dignity and respect
- How many staff have zero hour contracts
- Levels of staff turnover
Commentators on Twitter have questioned whether this approach could work given the CQC will not be able to monitor local authority commissioning decisions.
Lamb will say the CQC would use this information to “drive its regulatory activity, so it knows when, where and what to inspect and is alerted quickly to the risk of poor quality care in home care settings”.
The minister is due to announce the plans in a speech at the National Children and Adult Services conference this afternoon.
He will say: “The current approach to home care is not fair on those who need support, it’s not fair on care workers and it is stripping away the human element of caring.
“Fifteen minutes is not enough time to help people who are older or who have a disability to do everyday things like wash, dress and get out of bed. Some do not even get the chance to have a conversation with their home care worker, who may be the only person they see that day.
“These tougher checks would ask specific questions about the amount of time allocated for visits and whether staff are suitably supported to do this. This is particularly important because these are services delivered in private, behind closed doors.”