The Care Bill: the fight to end 15 minute home visits continues

The government has said it “fully agrees” with a shocking report which revealed earlier this month that local authorities are delivering more than 75 per cent of their care visits in just 15 minutes.

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 – 14:30 GMT
Leonard Cheshire Disability, a charity campaigning for good quality personal home care visits, revealed through a Freedom Of Information request that older or disabled people were being washed and dressed in just 15 minutes.

The Department of Health (DoH) in a response to the report said it fully agrees that it is unrealistic to think that 15 minutes is enough time to help people who are older or have a disability to do everyday things, “it is not fair” on those who need support and “it is not fair” on care workers.

DoH said, however, that ministers would not be able to support the charity’s campaign, but hoped that the charity will accept the amendments that the House of Lords have agreed in the Care Bill.

The Care Bill, which has been scrutinised by the House of Lords this past month, is aimed at reforming care and support for adults and making provision for safeguarding adults from abuse or neglect. It will outline care standards and the support carers expect to receive.The Lords this week discussed the allocation of extra powers to administrators to downgrade hospitals when sorting out failed NHS trusts and the powers of the Care Quality Commission.

Peers voted against the delay of the allocation of extra powers for administrators (176 for and 242 against), against maintaining the CQC’s ability to decide if there is an issue with commissioning (194 for and 220 against), and against looking to ensure the CQC has sufficient focus on staffing levels (194 for and 20 against)

Leonard Cheshire Disability said the decisions taken in the Lords would not stop “inappropriate” 15 minute care visits but instead runs the risk of making them “worse”.

Managing director campaigns and engagement Jane Harris said: ‘We are deeply disappointed that the government has pressed ahead with reducing the powers of CQC to review how care is commissioned.

“We know that the government wants to see better care, and yet it has chosen to make it harder for the care watchdog to improve it”.

“The amendments today mean that the CQC will no longer be able to conduct regular reviews of how local authorities commission care. This is a bizarre backwards step which runs counter to the government’s own policy intention”.

The charity says it hopes many of the issues in the bill will be revisited when it enters the House of Commons.