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    Care minister Norman Lamb has suggested that, from next year, tougher Care Quality Commission checks on home care providers which would be focused particularly on the length of visits, whether care was delivered with compassion, dignity and respect, and staff turnover rates could be introduced.

    There has been worries over the fact that home care visits limited to 15-minute slots are often too short and places huge pressures on both care workers and their clients.
    Housing news reported Lamb’s speech to the National Children and Adult Services conference last week:
    “Fifteen minutes is not enough time to help people who are older or who have a disability to do everyday things like wash, dress and get out of bed. Some do not even get the chance to have a conversation with their home care worker, who may be the only person they see that day,” 
    “These tougher checks would ask specific questions about the amount of time allocated for visits and whether staff are suitably supported to do this. This is particularly important because these are services delivered in private, behind closed doors.”
    Nevertheless, Local Government Association responded by saying as long as councils were underfunded then services would suffer.
    Katie Hall, chair of the LGA’s wellbeing board also said:

    “The bottom line is that the standard of care will not be substantially lifted until more money is put into the system.
    “Councils have worked very hard to protect social care services from the full impact of cuts to their funding because they know that helping the old and vulnerable to maintain their independence and dignity is one of the most important things they do. But councils need an extra £400m each year just to maintain services at current levels. Instead of that they are seeing a 42 per cent cut in funding from central government.”
    On concerns that councils were contracting providers who paid staff below the National Minimum Wage, Hall said councils were not deliberately seeking out such contractors.
    She also added:

    “There is clearly a problem with the way some third parties bid for contracts. We are fully engaged with this issue but there needs to be a recognition by all involved that a sustainable solution cannot be delivered in isolation from the other competing pressures on local government.”

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    October 22, 2013 by Abimbola Duro-David Categories: Care Quality

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