“Pensioners are STILL being failed by 15-minute care visits as they go without showers and proper meals”

“Vulnerable pensioners are going without showers and proper meals because ministers have failed to stamp out 15-minute care visits.

Three quarters of home helps say they are simply too rushed to do their jobs properly, according to the survey by public sector union Unison.

Almost two thirds of case workers said they have just 15 minutes to help people eat, drink, get washed and go to the toilet – despite government pledges to end the scandal.

And nine out of 10 of those questioned said they did not have time to chat, even though the person they looked after may not see anyone else that day.

The union’s survey of 1,000 workers found that three quarters feared they were compromising the dignity of those in their care because they were pressured to fit in too many visits.

The care workers help pensioners suffering from dementia, strokes, Parkinson’s, or with learning disabilities.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘Care workers and those they look after are suffering because standards are routinely being breached.
‘Care staff try to do their best within a system that increasingly prioritises quotas over compassion. Elderly and disabled people are ending up lonely, without dignity and with their care needs unmet.

Care workers and the vulnerable people they look after will continue to be failed by a flawed system unless the government acts.’

Unison’s report, Making Visits Matter, highlights the ongoing crisis in England’ s broken care system.

Earlier this month the Mail revealed that regulators are called in to deal with four complaints about care firms every day.

The Care Quality Commission launched 1,512 enforcement actions against care homes and companies which provide home helps in 2016/17 – 68 per cent up on the previous 12 months.

The watchdog dealt with complaints about unsafe care, residents not being treated with dignity and poor staffing levels. Other issues included lack of food or water and ‘abuse and improper treatment’.

Campaigners are demanding extra cash to prop up England’s care system. Last year ministers took urgent action to allow town halls to raise council tax to avert a meltdown.

Anyone with savings must meet the full cost of the care they receive – no matter how substandard.

The Tories have failed to honour a 2015 manifesto promise to cap the maximum bill at £75,000 and during the last election campaign Theresa May indicated the pledge could be scrapped.

Unison’s survey found that just over half of the care workers it questioned were on zero-hours contracts and almost two in three said they were not paid for the time they spent travelling between visits.

Some 63 per cent of respondents said they got just 15 minutes to help with personal tasks such as eating and drinking, or taking a shower.
The majority (89 per cent) of home care workers do not have time for a short chat even though the person they look after may not see anyone else that day, according to the survey.

Earlier this month a separate survey revealed that one in four care workers believe the service they provide for the most vulnerable in society is no longer ‘fair or safe’.

And many town halls are effectively breaking the law by slashing home helps and other services, according to a damning survey by the Care and Support Alliance and Community Care magazine.”