Are 15-minute care visits too short?

A charity has recently hit the headlines by blasting councils in England for offering “inadequate” 15-minute care visits to elderly and disabled people.

Depriving people of essential care

When the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity discovered that two-thirds of England’s local councils are now allowing short 15-minute care visits to be commissioned they were absolutely appalled.  The charity claims that these fleeting visits are depriving vulnerable people of essential care and instead forcing them to make decisions like “whether to go thirsty or to go to the toilet”.  The charity has stated that they want a ban on what they are calling “the scandal of 15-minute visits.”

The care minister

The care minister Norman Lamb agrees that it is inappropriate to restrict visits to such a short timeframe when people need feeding, bathing or multiple tasks taken care of.  However it doesn’t look like they’ll be banned anytime soon as he also states that these visits are still useful in some circumstances, for example if someone simply needs to be given medicine and nothing more.

15-minute care visits “simply atrocious”

An article on the BBC about the controversial 15-minute care visits featured a case study about a care worker who left her previous employee because she disagreed with the 15-minute care visits that they were enforcing.  Tracey Currey was quoted saying that she found that she was able to do no more that the “bare minimum” for people in this time which she thought was “simply atrocious”.

Without a complete ban on 15-minute care visits it still allows for people to abuse the system and use these brief visits inappropriately at the expense of a person’s wellbeing.

At Angel Carers we wouldn’t dream of offering our clients in-house care visits that were any shorter than 30 minutes long.  We pride ourselves in offering a service that our clients have told the Care Quality Commission they find to be “brilliant and friendly” and “absolutely magnificent” and we wouldn’t have it any other way.