For many people who receive visits at home from carers, this is the only time that they’ll be able to chat to another person, talk about how they’re feeling, and get help during the day. It’s important for people to be cared for properly, both emotionally and physically. However, today damning figures have been released showing that a third of Scottish councils are commissioning 15-minute personal care visits.
Disability charity Leonard Cheshire requested the figures under the Freedom of Information act and they’ve shown that nearly 20,000 people receive flying visits of only 15 minutes from carers. In the UK, Scotland is by far the worst for short care as 31% of people are receiving home visits of no more than 15 minutes. In England, the figure is 15% and in Wales, it’s 27%.
For people receiving support, a quarter of an hour is barely enough time for care tasks to be done, never mind build a personal relationship between people and their carers.
These flying visits can leave vulnerable people feeling stressed and dismissed. Raymond Lang, an academic with cerebral palsy, told BT that “as a person living with a disability and also maintaining a high-pressured professional job, having sufficient time for my full-time day care calls is essential. They enable me to maintain my dignity and independence.”
These new figures add to the larger picture of a serious carer crisis in the UK. The problem lies with the government and council who are commissioning these fleeting visits, which are leaving both carers and people receiving care unhappy.
Leonard Chesire’s Director for Scotland, Stuart Robinson called this data a “scandal.” He said: “many vulnerable people are being failed by the social care system […] We need to ensure people receive the person-centred care they deserve. No one should have to choose between going to the toilet or having a cup of tea.”