Unsuitable fifteen minute care visits will be scrapped according to a pledge by Health Secretary Alex Neil, which was reported in the Herald this week.  The news will be welcomed by third sector organisations working with older and disabled people who have long argued that the quality of care provided in such a short space of time is often inadequate to meet the needs of service users.  Research has shown that the practice is widespread among local authorities in Scotland.

“Very clearly, if a visit is meant to get somebody up and out of their bed in the morning, get them washed, dressed and shaved and give them their breakfast, there is no way on earth that can be done in anything like as short a period as 15 minutes,” said Mr Neil.

Care workers are regularly allotted a short amount of time to complete their task, putting pressure on them to finish quickly and often, to move on to their next job.

As a consequence many older people have to rely on frozen ready meals, or tinned food, as there is no time for their carer to prepare and cook a fresh meal.

The practice is currently being investigated by a group involving senior representatives of councils, senior social workers, and the care inspectorate to establish how common it is.

This was a key theme at a recent event facilitated by GCVS, where organisations gathered to give their views on Glasgow’s Reshaping Care for Older People Joint Strategic Commissioning Plan.

Mr Neil will also look at the cost of asking employers to paying the living wage across the public, third and private sectors.

Source:  The Herald