Posted on June 25, 2013

Calls for longer home care visits

A number of organisations have spoken out in support of longer visits for those who receive care at home, which are subject to a current minimum of 15 minutes. Those who have carers visiting regularly may be suffering as a result of such limited visits, and in some cases the patient's human rights are not being met.  There are concerns that the latest round of cutbacks will make the situation worse.  The lack of contact time has led to some patients not being properly fed, or being left unwashed and in soiled beds. One of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) commissioners, Baroness Sally Greengross,  has stated that it is important to add more resources, not less, as the number of people who need care at home services is on the increase.  These 15-minute visits are also not enough in terms of human contact – for many people it is the only time that they get to speak to another person. One of the reasons that people only get 15-minute visits is that the councils are only funding short visits.  Lack of funding is also affecting the training of staff, and many staff are travelling quickly from one patient to the next in order to meet their schedule.  The EHRC is also concerned that this is a situation that has been in place for a number of years. Organisations such as the National Pensioners Convention have called for the government to deal with the situation and raise the current home care standards to a more acceptable level.
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