Watchdog Calls for Longer Homecare Visits
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) have spoken out about how 30 minute home care visits ‘were not acceptable’ unless it was part of a bigger package in which the person was receiving extra care.
According to recent information that has come to light, 8 councils in the UK had provided 593,000 home care visits that only lasted 5 minutes or less over a 3 year period. Charities have also previously raised concern for vulnerable people who are being neglected.
Funding for home care has been greatly affected by budget cuts. Many of the home care group have complained that there is simply not enough money to implement these NICE guidelines. As of next year the minimum wage for care workers will be rising from £15.74 to £16.27. However, more than 70% of homecare is commissioned by local authorities or clinic commissioning groups and they feel they do not have even funding.
The new NICE guidelines call on care providers to “ensure service contracts allow home care workers enough time to provide good quality service.”
This includes “having enough time to talk to the person and their carer and to have sufficient travel time between appointments.”
“They should ensure that workers have time to do their job without being rushed or compromising the dignity or wellbeing of the person who uses services.”
Care workers need to be trained properly, valued and paid accordingly. It is important for those being cared for have the continuity of one care worker. Another issue that needs addressing is the travel time between appointments which can be time consuming.
It is important to start thinking about those most vulnerable and not treating the care industry as a corporate profit and loss scheme.