Have a drink or visit the toilet?

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Disabled people are being forced to choose between having a drink or going to the toilet during “flying care visits” which last only 15 minutes and are increasingly being used by cash-strapped councils struggling to cope with rising demands on the social care system.


Two-thirds of local councils are commissioning 15-minute visits, despite serious concerns that they deprive vulnerable people of essential care, the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability said.

In some areas, three-quarters of all care visits commissioned were only scheduled to last 15 minutes. Freedom of Information requests submitted by the charity found that, overall, English councils were commissioning 15 per cent more “flying visits” than five years ago. Cuts to social care budgets mean that fewer carers are available and are required to carry out a greater number of shorter visits. The findings come as the Care Bill approaches its third reading in the House of Lords. The charity is calling for an amendment to make care visits at least 30 minutes long.
read in full here

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 62787.html

Any members here have good/bad experiences of care packages not getting full time given.
In theory mum has half hour calls, but she is constantly short changed, because the carers aren't paid for time travelling between one client and another. Another problem seems to be one of geography, the person arranging the staff doesn't seem to understand that an apparently short journey takes time when traffic lights are involved - and our town has the dubious distinction of having the lights with the longest delay in the UK! The New Forest where I live has lots of holidaymakers, causing congestion in summer. None of these are taken into consideration. The only way carers can meet their targets is to cut every single visit slightly short - but the client is charged for the full period of time. My work brings me into contact with many people involved in the haulage industry, where arranging the most cost efficient journeys is crucial to profit making. I'm sure there are many skills they could teach the care industry. Mum is about to be discharged from hospital, reliant now on staff for everything - I'm thinking of getting a covert camera to record actual visit times.
Our problem wasn't so much the short call time, or so much what was done... it was when/if the carer's turned in.

When we set the thing up, sil was on 3 15min visits a day and we provided a list of her usual activity because there were only about 3 days when she had nothing going on - considering that they had the list, they knew when she needed to be up and where she needed to be that day.

We ended up having carers not turning in at all... or turning in to get her breakfast after she'd already left to do her activities - we were assured that they were there to "give us a break" and because of the danger she has with falling, we didn't even have the time to pop to the garage for a bottle of milk before the carer was done and gone.

The best one was when they turned up 10mins before she had to be on the ambulance bound for day care - they decided to shower her before they got her breakfast. She got half a shower, then had to shoot off to day care with no breakfast because the ambulance driver refused to leave without her.
Oh, so many experiences.

Mum is one of the "lucky" ones, with twice-daily visits of 30 mins each. Timing of visits varies by up to 2 hrs either way. In theory, they do lunch and dinner, provide medication, do eye-drops, change water. No time to wash up, clean up after themselves so mum has to try to do this propped up on walker.

I do feel sorry for the careworkers themselves. Whoever provides their schedule has no idea of geography of place and does not provide them with any local maps etc. They spend all their time waiting for buses or hunting for houses in what can be maze of streets. All this time is unpaid, only contact time is paid. So who would want the job?

Incidentally, I am told that any time they have an english careworker, they resign within 2 weeks. All mum's careworkers are African.
We were given a reinablement team not carers as such when Dad came out of Hospital , I have pages & pages on the rubbish service they provided, which we are putting in writing & sending to the head of SS & our MP , i dont suppose it will make any difference whatsoever , but some of it was so bad ie, leaving the door open on their last evening call , i am so angry it will make me feel better if i complain. Image
Please take a moment to read this and let Lord Howe how you feel:

http://www.lcdisability.org/lordhowe
We get 2 people for 2 hours 7 mornings a week and two 1 hour showers (which they seem to manage to do in half an hour!!).

Eun