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Panorama Thursday - Page 5 - Carers UK Forum

Panorama Thursday

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
The turnover in care services is ridiculously high because it is low-paid and the pressures are ridiculous. It means that staff are not trained properly and often have few usable skills. At least two of the people currently working with my son cannot cook: they help him to follow recipes but cannot teach him because they do not have the requisite skills.
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No wonder some people are fed Quavers. Image
Hi Everyone I use an Agency for my 'personal care' I have lived alone in an adapted flat for 13 months now - intially I had a 'Reablement team' working with me 4 times a day whilst I was assessed for an Individual Budget - they were fantastic.

However, I feel it gave me a false sense of security as when they finished their assessment of my needs Agency carers replaced them - all of the issues raised in Panaroma are 'part of the course' i have tried 3 different agencies and they are all the same, I can't tell my family as they would worry - yesterday before the carer hadn't even got in and shut the front door her phone rang it was the office wanting to know how long she'd be before she arrived at the next call - she said 10 mins - my call should be 30 mins to help me dress I am wheelchair bound.

I am 47 and would like to think 'on the ball' but I have lost my fight as I have been 'fobbed off' so often by 'the office' when I have complained. Despite 'undercover' carers and hard evidence on Panaroma I don't think anything will change. I asked the carer that called if she'd seen the programme she said No what programme! Hey ho!
This is of course daylight robbery, pay £18 an hour for personal care as you do in this area and the effective hourly rate is three times this if you only receive 10 minutes instead of 30, i.e. £54 per hour.

Short-timing is endemic, we hear of it across the country, we currently have a carer in for 45 minutes three times a week, it they start short-timing after the third time I pick them up on it and insist that they make it up but they are generally very good, I chose them myself and then social services took over some of the charge. My only gripes are that they do not let us know if they are going to be substantially late or early, the carer was 40 minutes early this morning and my husband was eating his breakfast, I told him to continue, and on the occasions when we have a temporary replacement they do things for my husband which I have helped him relearn to do for himself and we cannot afford for him to be too dependent on me, I am disabled myself and there are things which I cannot do for him.

I think that we have been very lucky, this is a new agency born out of the ashes of losing their contract to one of the agencies highlighted in the Panorama programme and they are really on the ball at the moment, whether this will change when they get larger remains to be seen but at the moment I have few complaints.
If, I or my daughter was paying for a half hour and only got 10 mins I would be on the phone straightaway to the Trading Standards. Thats what they are there for to protect consumers, as paying for any service or goods we are consumers.
If enough people did this Im sure the agencies would either up their game or make the county councils rethink full privatised care provision.
And, the agencies wouldnt get away with saying the job had been done satisfactory in the 10 mins either. I know I paid an emergency plumber £90 last year for a horrible job he did out of hours , he did it in 40 mins but his firm charged hourly, but the difference is that he did a satisfactory job.
Perhaps Watchdog on the tv should also highlight this issue?
People do complain, mairie, it was as a result of complaints to social services, which is where these complaints should be directed or alternatively, if not resolved, to the health and social care watchdog, that Care UK had their contract terminated in Hertfordshire. Unfortunately it takes a large volume of complaints to trigger a response and some people are so elderly, sick and frail that they are unable to complain and have no-one to speak out for them and some local authorities lack the political will to pay more to protect the vulnerable in their communities which appears to be the case in South Lanarkshire. It needs society to care enough to make it clear that this sort of service provision is not acceptable and that is all of us whether we are carers or in need of care ourselves or not.

Thank you for the link, Rosemary, a very interesting commentary on care of the elderly and society's attitude to growing old and to the elderly themselves.