'Flying' 15-minute care visits
'Flying' care visits are council-funded home visits for disabled people to give support with personal care (washing, dressing, eating) and are called 'flying' visits because they have just 15 minutes of time allocated to them. These visits are at best rushed, often resulting in unnecessary neglect and poor care, and can be very disconcerting for those who receive them.
These visits are something the Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) charity have campaigned passionately against for a number of years. Since 2013, LCD’s Make Care Fair campaign has asked councils to put an end to commissioning undignified 15-minute 'flying' care visits, and it has brought about some big improvements...
LCD's campaigning has led to big improvements... but more can be done
Statutory guidance contained in the 2014 Care Act stated: 'Short home-care visits of 15 minutes or less are not appropriate for people who need support with intimate care needs'. In April 2015, two years into LCD's campaigning, the Care Act was enforced and a number of councils did stop commissioning 15-minute care visits altogether, signalling a big success for the charity. The charity's work was recognised nationally, including a write-up from The Guardian newspaper which you can read here. In late 2015, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) also published advice that stated: 'Carers must spend a minimum of 30 minutes during visits to help keep people well.
Campaigning has brought about encouraging results, but findings released by Leonard Cheshire this month highlighted that there is still work to do. Freedom of Information responses from councils in England showed that 34 councils (22%) are still commissioning 15-minute visits for personal care, whilst another 60 councils gave unclear responses or did not respond at all when asked. Other findings from the charity's report include:
- over 30,000 people are receiving 15-minute home visits in England
- half of these people live in council areas that admit to using 15-minute visits for personal care
- over one in five councils provide these rushed visits for personal care
(Source: Leonard Cheshire Disability)
Support the Make Care Fair campaign
Leonard Cheshire Disability's Make Care Fair campaign aims to raises awareness of 'flying visits' and the impact they have on the disabled individuals and their carers. It also represents a significant voice against these inadequate care visits. The campaign plays big on the fact that for many disabled people receiving 'flying' visits, it can come down to the choice between a cup of tea and going to the toilet. The campaign highlights real-life stories that prove the negative impact of these visits in view of bringing about change.
The Make Care Fair campaign now has over 5,000 people supporting its efforts to put an end to 15-minute care visits. As we can see above, the campaign has already played a part in the government telling councils to stop these 15-minute visits, and Leonard Cheshire Disability are now calling on more people to support this campaign to ensure further change.
Support the Make Care Fair campaign in its latest initiative which involves thousands of people emailing the care minister to voice their views. Visit the email campaign page.