Thursday, 15 May 2014

The next Labour government will end time-limited 15-minute care visits

The next Labour government will work with local authorities and care providers to raise standards in the industry and end time-limited 15-minute visits

Labour has already set out detailed policy to strengthen the enforcement of the NMW and end exploitation of zero hours contracts and will work with councils and care providers to end limited 15-minute visits.

The Kingsmill Report published today revealed that in nearly two-thirds of areas elderly people are being given visits lasting just 15 minutes with many care workers not paid if they choose to stay longer. This has reduced the quality of care for millions of elderly, vulnerable and disabled people and is driving the exploitation of England's 1.8 million care workers.

The report also found:

Between 150,000 and 220,000 care workers are paid less than the National Minimum Wage, often due to the failure to pay workers for time travelled between home care visits;
  • An estimated 307,000 care workers are on zero-hours contracts;
  • 41% of care workers do not receive specialised training to help deal with specific medical needs, such as dementia and stroke-related conditions, while nearly a third receive no regular training.
A freedom of information response from HMRC to Liz Kendall shows that half of all providers inspected by HMRC were failing in some way to pay the NMW, with over £1 million owed to workers.

The report recommends ending time-limited 15 minute care and a new Care Charter to raise standards and introduce an inspection regime for the commissioning of care.

The report findings show that improvements could be made through re-allocating existing resources, as well as improving workforce planning and commissioning practices. Labour councils such as Southwark and Islington have already introduced a Care Charter with no additional funding from central government which commit them to tackling exploitative working practices and ending the use of 15 minute slots.

Please find attached a press release including quotes from Ed Miliband, Liz Kendall and Baroness Kingsmill and a further copy of the PLP Briefing distributed to colleagues this morning.

Ed Miliband ‏@Ed_Miliband
At my NHS speech on Monday I was asked what Labour would do to improve the quality of care. This is the first step: …

Liz Kendall MP ‏@leicesterliz
Labour will 'call time on clock-watch care' & 15 min home care visits via @guardian

Liz Kendall MP ‏@leicesterliz
My FOI shows 50% of care providers inspected by HMRC have failed to pay min wage, £1m owed to staff @resfoundation

Labour Press Team @labourpress
Labour will call time on clock-watch care - @Ed_Miliband and @leicesterliz …

Liz Kendall MP ‏@leicesterliz
With home care worker Caroline at launch of Kingsmill Review into care sector - read here