Tougher checks to be introduced to help clamp down on rushed home care visits

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Tougher checks may be introduced to help clamp down on rushed home care visits announced.

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:

  • 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 doesn’t 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 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. 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.

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