Posted on January 13, 2014

Calls for closer examination of home care services

There have been calls for those who organise adult social care to take a closer look at the care at home services they are using. Concerns have been raised about the prolific use of zero-hour contracts, lack of compliance with minimum wage regulations, and short domiciliary home care visits.  The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has issued advice to members in order to improve the standard of home care that is delivered, with the advice being for the benefit of both the carer and the client. The use of 15-minute visits for home care has been a cause for concern for some time and comes alongside other issues such as not paying staff for their travelling time, meaning that their pay is less than minimum wage.  Examination of these issues has shown that one of the causes is the way in which the care services are commissioned by local councils, partly due to a lack of funding.  The care at home industry also has a high staff turnover.  All these issues could present a risk of human rights abuse for the clients. The government has refused to restart the routine inspections by the CQC of the way in which care is commissioned, however, although the Care Bill does allow the CQC to carry out an inspection if commissioning is considered to be part of the problem.  The CQC does have plans to carry out an examination of the various commissioning practices, looking at zero-hour contracts and the short visits.
National Framework Supplier