Care and Support in the Community Does not Mean Real Care for the Elderly

Tougher checks may be introduced to help clamp down on rushed home care visits Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb will announce today.

Speaking at the National Children and Adult Services conference, he will say that from next April the Care Quality Commission is proposing to look at whether home care visits are long enough to respond to people’s needs. They will also consider looking at how staff working conditions might be impacting on care.

To assess this, the CQC are considering looking at:Quality Care Commission

  • whether the service is able to respond to people’s needs in the allocated time
  • whether the care is delivered with compassion, dignity and respect
  • how many staff have zero hour contracts
  • the levels of staff turnover

Recent media coverage has highlighted the lack of time allotted to care for people who are older or who have a disability in their homes. It means many are left waiting to get into or out of bed, waiting to eat or drink or left wanting basic human contact. This does not just have an effect on those receiving care but places huge pressure on staff, who often have to work over their hours for below the minimum wage to make sure people get basic levels of support they need.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:

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 are 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. I want to build a fairer society, and that means providing better care in care homes, and in people’s own homes.

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.

Care In The CommunityEditor Comment: 

You have heard me talk about “Care In our Community” and how it is so often said  ,but seldom upheld by the application. This is announcement is a prime example of what l am trying to say, so let me highlight the points from the examples of what l have seen!  

The first point that the “Care and Support Minister” makes, is that from next April the CQC is proposing to look at whether care visits are long enough, to respond to people’s needs?

Well Mr Lamb and the CQC – if you gave some carers 30 minutes or an hour – they are incapable in responding to anyone persons need! As they have one reason for being carers and that is get as many calls completed as possible ,and as fast as possible. A number of them even have the time allotted and decide that they can fit in another call, and leave earlier than they are contract to provide. The fact is that to sign in and out they have to ring into a computer and it logs the time of arrival and departure, but nothing ever gets flagged up by the management. As both the carers and the management/owners do not want to stop this practice, as the real reason anyone but the few care ,is money.

The “Care in the Community” act was built and constructed with the intention of making money, not caring for people, that takes compassion and understanding! This is just something many carers are not capable of as they took the job, as it was the only job they could get, this was an actual statement l have heard on numerous occasions.

So to your second point of assessing care behind closed doors and whether carers are equipped to provide such care, in short they are not capable, they are not equipped with adequate training and as regards applying the care this is woefully inadequate. My personal experience of watching carers is unbelievable, in fact so much so that l am preparing a report for the ” Adult Social Care Services” at the end of this month ,so cannot comment at present but will revisit  with results of my findings shortly. But to add that certain training on site is required, not a 15 minute call by the trainer to assess a risk using a hoist or other apparatus in the home. This call by the way is then charged as a care call and added to the clients invoice at the end of the month.