Matt Rodda, Labour’s Reading East MP, has supported a campaign in Parliament aimed at calling for an end to the rushed 15-minute personal care visits currently experienced by the elderly, infirm, disabled and vulnerable in society.

Disability charity Leonard Cheshire have launched their #MakeCareFair campaign, which is calling for good quality social care and an end to rushed 15 minute personal care visits which is believed can deprive people of dignified and compassionate care.
Unfortunately these extremely short personal care visits continue to be commissioned across England.

As a result of the chronic underfunding of social care, one in seven councils delivered 15-minute personal care visits across England in 2016/17, forcing vulnerable people to choose between going to the toilet or having a cup of tea. The charity has long campaigned against the use of 15-minute personal care visits to support people with basic needs such as washing, dressing and eating. These can deprive people of dignified and compassionate care. Good care transforms disabled people’s lives, but social care is being chronically underfunded, leading to too many disabled people not receiving the care they need.

Flying visits in England continue despite statutory guidance within the Care Act 2014, which came into force in April 2015 stating: ‘short home-care visits of 15 minutes or less are not appropriate for people who need support with intimate care needs.

Social care is a vital public service, enabling over one million disabled and older people in the UK to live independently and contribute to society. Although the Government have committed to publishing a green paper on social care this year, at present this will only put forward proposals for older people.

Neil Heslop, Leonard Cheshire’s Chief Executive added:
” As we approach the long awaited government green paper on social care, the situation is tough in the sector. Inadequate flying visits are indicative of a care system in crisis and coupled with PIP shortcomings have rendered disabled people an increasingly embattled, beleaguered community, singled out for punitive measures. We will continue to campaign for the critical long term funding that is needed to transform the provision of care and improve the quality of thousands of lives.”

After attending the event in Parliament, Matt said:
“It is clear that social care is in crisis; with local authorities having to manage central Government funding cuts of almost 50% since 2010-11 (NAO, Financial Sustainability of Local Authorities 2018 [March 2018]). Local Authorities are under severe pressure
to deliver high quality, dignified care services. A symptom of this chronic underfunding is the use of flying 15-minute personal care visits which fail to offer people the basic care nor dignity they deserve. The Government needs to properly fund care to make sure carers have enough time to look after vulnerable people”

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