Tag Archives: social care

What can we do to improve care in the home?

At its worst, the current system encourages neglect and poor care. But we need help to spread great homecare across the UK

Homecare staff

‘We have to ensure that care and support is built around the person – what they need, how they can best be cared for, what they want,’ says Norman Lamb.

We currently have a system that at its worst can reward and promote poor care, encourage low wages and allow neglect to flourish. While we know that homecare, for the most part, is carried out to a good standard – it still leaves far too many cases of poor and unacceptable levels of care in the home.

One of the most common complaints I come across is where care is carried out by the clock. Carers will come to the house and have a time slot of around 15 minutes to get everything done and be off to the next appointment. But 15 minutes may not be enough to do what is needed. So appointments are rushed through – trying to get everything done – in or out of bed; getting washed; trying to bolt down food or take medication. It is no wonder that these visits can be stressful and unpleasant.

‘Woefully inadequate homecare presents a massive challenge’

Government summit hears that reform is needed to reverse ‘race to the bottom’ on care amid budget squeeze and ageing population



Homecare summit

The summit brought together homecare providers and local authorities, as well as frontline carers and technology and design experts. Photograph: Anna Gordon for the Guardian


The timing was accidental — but striking. On the day the government was hosting a summit to drive improvements in the way some of the most vulnerable members of society are cared for at home, the BBC released TV footage showing the human impact of failings in the system. The scenes showing an 83-year-old woman becoming upset as her carer failed to turn up on time were a stark reminder that some of the care provided to people in their own homes is woefully inadequate.

As care and support minister Norman Lamb put it: “The report on the BBC was not an isolated experience — we know there are lots of examples, along with the very good care we also see. We have all got a responsibility to address the fact that there are some very vulnerable people at risk in their own homes. Behind your own front door you are particularly vulnerable because no one can see what’s happening.”

Nationwide care threshold 'will exclude hundreds of thousands in need'

Charities warn plans to introduce threshold at ‘substantial needs’ would “perpetuate unfair system”, but ministers point to improved support for people without eligible needs.

Friday 28 June 2013 14:11

Councils would be obliged to provide care for people with ‘substantial’ eligible needs and carers who meet a defined threshold, under government plans issued today.

The proposals would end the ability of local authorities to set their own threshold – unless it were more generous than the national minimum – and would create a new eligibility framework for social workers carrying out assessments to operate.