Government bid to end 15-minute care visits

Short care visits may soon be ended

Short care visits may soon be ended

First published in Health Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

HAMPSHIRE councils could be forced to stop “clockwatching care” visits of just 15 minutes by home helps which are putting vulnerable pensioners at risk.

Ministers are expected to crack down on councils commissioning care by the minute from private care providers in regulations to be unveiled today.

Just last month the Daily Echo revealed that both Hampshire County Council and Southampton City Council commission just 15 minutes of care for some elderly and disabled people, including dementia sufferers.

About one in seven daily lifeline visits commissioned by the county council lasts no more than 15 minutes.

And in that time carers can be expected to complete essential tasks such as heating meals, taking vulnerable people to the toilet and prompting them to take medication.

The Daily Echo’s Dignity in Old Age campaign called for county and city council bosses to extend the minimum period of care to 30 minutes.

The Conservative local authority has introduced a new electronic monitoring system which precisely times when carers start and end home visits and will allow per-minute billing for care when fully implemented.

And it saved £4.9m in 2011-12 by driving down the price it pays agencies providing care to people in their own homes.

Now the care and support White Paper is expected to rule out the by-the-minute commissioning of domiciliary care.

But any decisions on how care will be funded in future will be put-off until 2014 – a move slammed by charities.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: “Contracting care by the minute means the focus is always on the clock, not on the person, which is not how it should be.

“The best councils are arranging care that concentrates on the person and their needs – this ultimately delivers the best outcomes.

Kindness, compassion, dignity and respect must dictate how care is delivered.”

Hampshire County Council has refused to comment before the White Paper is published.

Last week a national survey of care providers found elderly people were being put in danger after councils ordered care agencies to complete vital home visits in 15- minute slots to save money.

The UK Homecare Association, which represents organisations that provide home care, said even personal care, such as washing and dressing, can be fitted into unreasonably short time slots.

Chris Perry, director of Age Concern Hampshire, backed the scrapping of care by the minute.

He said: “We welcome anything that gets away from carers having too little time to do what is needed and having to clock-watch.”

Comments (9)

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12:16pm Wed 11 Jul 12

A Southampton resident says...

So carers will now get 30 min to complete a series of tasks instead of the 15 min they were getting? This means that over a typical shift, the carer will now see half as many pensioners as they were seeing previously.

What is the betting that the private care companies, who have taken over the caring of pensioners and other vulnerable people and who exist to make a profit in doing so, will effect a hefty increase in their charges to cover the shortfall and so maintain their profit margin?
So carers will now get 30 min to complete a series of tasks instead of the 15 min they were getting? This means that over a typical shift, the carer will now see half as many pensioners as they were seeing previously. What is the betting that the private care companies, who have taken over the caring of pensioners and other vulnerable people and who exist to make a profit in doing so, will effect a hefty increase in their charges to cover the shortfall and so maintain their profit margin? A Southampton resident
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Wed 11 Jul 12

IssacJacobs says...

It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity.

I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age.

With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.
It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity. I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age. With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical. IssacJacobs
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Wed 11 Jul 12

intheshaddows says...

I agree with Mr Issac Jacobs.
It is sad that so many people are in such a bad situation, the state isn't a charity. Nothing further to add.
I agree with Mr Issac Jacobs. It is sad that so many people are in such a bad situation, the state isn't a charity. Nothing further to add. intheshaddows
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Wed 11 Jul 12

sarfhamton says...

IssacJacobs wrote:
It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity. I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age. With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.
1) Most older people will pay towards their care as it is chargeable.

2) Most older people paid tax and NI all of their life so they deserve a decent service

3) Decent care at home is better and cheaper than going into a home

4) We all get old one day
[quote][p][bold]IssacJacobs[/bold] wrote: It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity. I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age. With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.[/p][/quote]1) Most older people will pay towards their care as it is chargeable. 2) Most older people paid tax and NI all of their life so they deserve a decent service 3) Decent care at home is better and cheaper than going into a home 4) We all get old one day sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Wed 11 Jul 12

Georgem says...

sarfhamton wrote:
IssacJacobs wrote:
It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity. I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age. With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.
1) Most older people will pay towards their care as it is chargeable.

2) Most older people paid tax and NI all of their life so they deserve a decent service

3) Decent care at home is better and cheaper than going into a home

4) We all get old one day
Well said.
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IssacJacobs[/bold] wrote: It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity. I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age. With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.[/p][/quote]1) Most older people will pay towards their care as it is chargeable. 2) Most older people paid tax and NI all of their life so they deserve a decent service 3) Decent care at home is better and cheaper than going into a home 4) We all get old one day[/p][/quote]Well said. Georgem
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Wed 11 Jul 12

Irate Wintonian says...

A Southampton resident wrote:
So carers will now get 30 min to complete a series of tasks instead of the 15 min they were getting? This means that over a typical shift, the carer will now see half as many pensioners as they were seeing previously. What is the betting that the private care companies, who have taken over the caring of pensioners and other vulnerable people and who exist to make a profit in doing so, will effect a hefty increase in their charges to cover the shortfall and so maintain their profit margin?
If a client requires a 30 minute call, the care package put in place should be for 30 minutes.

Likewise, if only 15 minutes is required (and in some cases it is), why should the state or whoever is paying for the care, pay for extra time that is not necessary?
[quote][p][bold]A Southampton resident[/bold] wrote: So carers will now get 30 min to complete a series of tasks instead of the 15 min they were getting? This means that over a typical shift, the carer will now see half as many pensioners as they were seeing previously. What is the betting that the private care companies, who have taken over the caring of pensioners and other vulnerable people and who exist to make a profit in doing so, will effect a hefty increase in their charges to cover the shortfall and so maintain their profit margin?[/p][/quote]If a client requires a 30 minute call, the care package put in place should be for 30 minutes. Likewise, if only 15 minutes is required (and in some cases it is), why should the state or whoever is paying for the care, pay for extra time that is not necessary? Irate Wintonian
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Wed 11 Jul 12

BillyTheKid says...

IssacJacobs wrote:
It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity.

I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age.

With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.
You obviously have no idea of what you are talking about, adopting an indifferent attitude to a matter that has brought shame upon the UK.

Most elderly people paid for "cradle to the grave" care all their working lives. They were promised that by the government after WW2. It is something that is above party politics, and should have remained in place, working now as effectively as it did in the fifties, WHATEVER THE COST TO THE COUNTRY !

There are thousands of businesses making billions of profit for themselves and their shareholders. It is these greedy, selfish, bast ards who own the care homes and think it is right to charge each "service user" £50,000 a year for a bedroom the size of a bathroom full of cheap self-assemby furniture, one common room for all, and food from Netto, all run by unqualified, inexperienced teenagers on minimum wages under an overpaid home manager. Out of every million going into a care home, half of that is going straight into the bank accounts of the owners. And, of course, the visiting private care companies operate in a similar way.

Politically, capitalism benefits the rich and penalises the poor. Socialism benefits no one in the end.

Coming back to Earth, my opinion is that care of the elderly should be a family responsibility, bound by law, like child care. Parents can go to prison for failing to look after a child properly, and adults should face the same prospect in respect of their parents.

People will shout and scream in protest, but I think we all know the party is over for the "me" generations. Time to grow up and discover the virtues of, and need for, altruism.
[quote][p][bold]IssacJacobs[/bold] wrote: It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity. I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age. With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.[/p][/quote]You obviously have no idea of what you are talking about, adopting an indifferent attitude to a matter that has brought shame upon the UK. Most elderly people paid for "cradle to the grave" care all their working lives. They were promised that by the government after WW2. It is something that is above party politics, and should have remained in place, working now as effectively as it did in the fifties, WHATEVER THE COST TO THE COUNTRY ! There are thousands of businesses making billions of profit for themselves and their shareholders. It is these greedy, selfish, bast ards who own the care homes and think it is right to charge each "service user" £50,000 a year for a bedroom the size of a bathroom full of cheap self-assemby furniture, one common room for all, and food from Netto, all run by unqualified, inexperienced teenagers on minimum wages under an overpaid home manager. Out of every million going into a care home, half of that is going straight into the bank accounts of the owners. And, of course, the visiting private care companies operate in a similar way. Politically, capitalism benefits the rich and penalises the poor. Socialism benefits no one in the end. Coming back to Earth, my opinion is that care of the elderly should be a family responsibility, bound by law, like child care. Parents can go to prison for failing to look after a child properly, and adults should face the same prospect in respect of their parents. People will shout and scream in protest, but I think we all know the party is over for the "me" generations. Time to grow up and discover the virtues of, and need for, altruism. BillyTheKid
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Wed 11 Jul 12

opera phantom says...

Ken Thornber head of HCC should be ashamed of himself, and all of the other parasites. They spend
millions on their own HQ and all the other goodies. Typical politicians. You can't trust any of them, no matter what party.
If there is no UKIP candidate I just don't bother to vote for any of these usless p...ks
Ken Thornber head of HCC should be ashamed of himself, and all of the other parasites. They spend millions on their own HQ and all the other goodies. Typical politicians. You can't trust any of them, no matter what party. If there is no UKIP candidate I just don't bother to vote for any of these usless p...ks opera phantom
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Wed 11 Jul 12

opera phantom says...

BillyTheKid wrote:
IssacJacobs wrote:
It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity.

I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age.

With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.
You obviously have no idea of what you are talking about, adopting an indifferent attitude to a matter that has brought shame upon the UK.

Most elderly people paid for "cradle to the grave" care all their working lives. They were promised that by the government after WW2. It is something that is above party politics, and should have remained in place, working now as effectively as it did in the fifties, WHATEVER THE COST TO THE COUNTRY !

There are thousands of businesses making billions of profit for themselves and their shareholders. It is these greedy, selfish, bast ards who own the care homes and think it is right to charge each "service user" £50,000 a year for a bedroom the size of a bathroom full of cheap self-assemby furniture, one common room for all, and food from Netto, all run by unqualified, inexperienced teenagers on minimum wages under an overpaid home manager. Out of every million going into a care home, half of that is going straight into the bank accounts of the owners. And, of course, the visiting private care companies operate in a similar way.

Politically, capitalism benefits the rich and penalises the poor. Socialism benefits no one in the end.

Coming back to Earth, my opinion is that care of the elderly should be a family responsibility, bound by law, like child care. Parents can go to prison for failing to look after a child properly, and adults should face the same prospect in respect of their parents.

People will shout and scream in protest, but I think we all know the party is over for the "me" generations. Time to grow up and discover the virtues of, and need for, altruism.
The state is not a charity.
Bloody cheek. Most old people have paid national insurance all
their working lives. It is not bloody
charity it is a right. that's what national insurance is for.
If successive governments have chosen to spend this money on others things instead of investing
it and gaining interest, that is the States problem, not the problem of pensioners.
If you pay into anything for future gain, it is not a charity
[quote][p][bold]BillyTheKid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IssacJacobs[/bold] wrote: It’s sad that the economy is in such a bad position that these cuts are necessary. However, the state cannot afford to care for these older people. The state is not a charity. I would like to see a more caring atmosphere to be built on good principles of self-reliance and entrepreneurship. I think charities will be strengthened if all people are doing better and this will fund elderly care. Furthermore, more emphasis should be placed on pensions as schemes that are essential to pay for car costs in older age. With the growing elderly population it is important we make these cuts now before the care cost becomes astronomical.[/p][/quote]You obviously have no idea of what you are talking about, adopting an indifferent attitude to a matter that has brought shame upon the UK. Most elderly people paid for "cradle to the grave" care all their working lives. They were promised that by the government after WW2. It is something that is above party politics, and should have remained in place, working now as effectively as it did in the fifties, WHATEVER THE COST TO THE COUNTRY ! There are thousands of businesses making billions of profit for themselves and their shareholders. It is these greedy, selfish, bast ards who own the care homes and think it is right to charge each "service user" £50,000 a year for a bedroom the size of a bathroom full of cheap self-assemby furniture, one common room for all, and food from Netto, all run by unqualified, inexperienced teenagers on minimum wages under an overpaid home manager. Out of every million going into a care home, half of that is going straight into the bank accounts of the owners. And, of course, the visiting private care companies operate in a similar way. Politically, capitalism benefits the rich and penalises the poor. Socialism benefits no one in the end. Coming back to Earth, my opinion is that care of the elderly should be a family responsibility, bound by law, like child care. Parents can go to prison for failing to look after a child properly, and adults should face the same prospect in respect of their parents. People will shout and scream in protest, but I think we all know the party is over for the "me" generations. Time to grow up and discover the virtues of, and need for, altruism.[/p][/quote]The state is not a charity. Bloody cheek. Most old people have paid national insurance all their working lives. It is not bloody charity it is a right. that's what national insurance is for. If successive governments have chosen to spend this money on others things instead of investing it and gaining interest, that is the States problem, not the problem of pensioners. If you pay into anything for future gain, it is not a charity opera phantom
  • Score: 0

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