and disabled people receiving "flying" care visits are
being forced to choose between staying thirsty or going to the
obtained from 63 local authorities by the charity Leonard Cheshire
Disability found three-fifths now commission 15-minute care visits to
the elderly or disabled.
charity also estimates the proportion of visits that last 15 minutes
or less has risen by 15% over the past five years, despite "major
concerns" the short visits "deprive" people of
report also said the short visits "simply do not allow enough
time to deliver good-quality care".
the Association of Directors of Adult Social
Services (Adass) argued sometimes the short visits are "fully
justified, and fully adequate".
Clare Pelham, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, called
for care visits to be at least 30 minutes long.
day, many disabled and older people in the UK receive personal care,
it is disgraceful to force disabled people to choose whether to go
thirsty or to go to the toilet by providing care visits as short as
15 minutes long," she said.
of us need 40 minutes to get up, get washed and dressed and have
breakfast in the morning. None of us would want our family and
friends to receive 'care' visits as short as 15 minutes. We should
demand better from our councillors and remind them disabled people
are real people with real feelings and should be treated as they
themselves would wish to be treated - with kindness, with care and
is vital that Parliament backs our call to end the indignity of
rushed care which thousands of disabled people face every day. The
clock is ticking and this crucial Care Bill vote is Peers' last
chance to stop this practice for good."
to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Care minister Norman Lamb said
"human contact" was a vital part of caring for the elderly
and councils are not using their money to good effect.
said: "I think there has to be a much richer collaboration
between the statutory services and the community and volunteers.
"There's nothing worse than loneliness and isolation. It damages your health.
Government's plans would help ensure money is being better
spent, according to Mr Lamb.
He added: "We are not spending the money that's available to us nearly effectively enough. We should be focusing much more on preventing ill health, preventing the deterioration of health, getting the two fragmented parts of the system (care and social health) working much more effectively together."