Criticism over councils commissioning 15-minute visits to provide personal care to disabled and older people

In recent research, conducted by The Guardian, statistics have shown that at least 30,000 disabled and older people in England are still receiving 15-minute care visits.

Half of these people are in the 34 council areas that admit to still using 15-minute care visits for intimate tasks such as washing, dressing and eating. Visits as short as 15 minutes for personal care are unfair and unrealistic as people of any ability need at least 40 minutes to get up, washed, dressed and to have some breakfast in the morning.

After the Care Act came into force in April 2015, there was the expectation that its guidance to councils that short visits should not be used for personal care would bring an end to experiences like this. Following the introduction of the Act, several councils did stop commissioning 15-minute care visits altogether.

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Make Care Fair Campaign, which started in 2013, has asked councils to put an end to commissioning improper 15-minute “flying” care visits for support with personal care.

It is critical that councils put an end to commissioning 15-minute personal care visits so older and disabled people are not faced with these “flying” care visits. The government could assist in helping to fund social care appropriately so councils are not forced to ration support in this way.

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