Older people put at risk due to care budget cuts
- 08 Oct
Equality and Human Rights Commission have said that budget cuts do not cover the cost of delivering care for elderly people.
Equalities' regulators are warning that the human rights of older people are being put at risk due to local authorities scaling back budgets so far that they cannot afford the cost of adequate care.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission report into home care follows a two year investigation finding evidence that there had been a "systematic failure" across the country, including cases of physical and financial abuse.
The watchdog says a key reason for this breach of rights is because carers were neglecting tasks as councils paid them too little for their time.
However in its latest report the regulator said: "The way home care is commissioned by local authorities may be increasing the risks of older people suffering human rights abuses. In particular, the rates some local authorities pay care providers do not always appear to cover the actual costs of delivering care, a significant proportion of which are workers' wages which should include travel time. Poor working conditions may lead to a high turnover of staff and increase the risks to the human rights of older people," reports the Guardian.
The report noted that the lowest rate paid for an hour of daytime home care was £8.98 and 20 local authorities paid £11 or less. With this money care companies would then have to cover operating costs, profit and minimum wage.
The regulator calls for a minimum wage clause to be inserted into contracts between private firms that provide elderly care and councils which pay for it. "We believe that not only should contracts commissioning home care include a requirement that care workers are paid at least the national minimum wage, including payment for travel time, but also that local authorities should be transparent and set out how the rates they pay cover these costs."
Norman Lamb, the care and support minister, warned: "There are too many examples of employers paying people less than the minimum wage by not taking account of travel times, or of councils buying short care visits that leave people waiting to get into or out of bed, to eat and drink or take their medication.
"Social care organisations are independent and make their own decisions about their staff, but we are clear that they must abide by the law. We expect local authorities to commission good services that reward excellent care and pay fair wages. The newly appointed chief inspector of adult social care will have an important role in holding councils to account where this is not the case."
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/982475
- 01 Sep
Older people need more male carers
Professor Martin Green has said that the government needs to do more to recruit males into front-line adult social care roles, reports the BBC.Prof Green has said that with the increasing number of...
- 25 Aug
Survey finds older people have better quality of life in retirement villages than care homes
Chief executive of Audley Retirement, Nick Sanderson, has said that demand for his form of extra-care housing was so strong he could not build homes fast enough, reports the Guardian.He said: “I...
- 12 Aug
Older people’s Commissioner disappointed by Welsh Government
Sarah Rochira, Wale’s Commissioner for older people has said she is “extremely disappointed” at the response from the Welsh Government to its call for action to protect residents in care homes,...
- 31 Jul
Charity warns of loneliness in older people
The Campaign to End Loneliness charity want a “range of support” for older people to help them fight loneliness, reports the BBC. The charity says that transport and technology are essential to...
- 27 Jul
New housing for older people promised
Members of Kensington and Chelsea’s cabinet have decided to create 150 new homes for older people on the site of a care home that closed down in 2014 due to Legionella, reports Get West...
- 22 Jul
New drug provides hope for older people with Parkinsons
Scientists have found that people taking glitazone pills were less likely to develop Parkinson’s than people taking other diabetes drugs. However, they have cautioned that the drugs could have...
- 15 Jul
Lack in dignity when caring for older people in hospital
In a poll from 2012 it has been found that poor care is most likely to be experienced by people over the age of 80, reports the BBC. Over a third of patients who need help at mealtimes did not...
- 09 Jul
New housing development for older people in Sunderland
A 16.3m housing and care scheme has been opened by the Leader of Sunderland Council, reports Sunderland Echo.The accommodation provides 158 two-bedroom apartments for older people and 17 one bed...
- 07 Jul
Social care cuts leaving older people stranded
Age UK is calling on Chancellor George Osborne to put an end to cuts to social care funding due to the increasing rate the older population is growing, reports the Yorkshire Post. Age UK has...
- 01 Jul
Charity wants priority for older people in housing
Erosh represents organisation providing housing and support to 120,000 older people and has written to new government ministers in opposition, reports Inside Housing.The letter calls on ministers to...
Support Solutions 5th National Housing Support & Social Care Conference 2014 Good organisation from beginning to end. Excellent keynote speaker. Relevant and important topics for discussion which were to everyone's advantage within the supported housing sector. B.H - Stevenage Haven