Councils slammed over “degrading” 15 minute care visits


Practice of flying visits is widespread across Scotland says charity 

8th February 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Damning figures show a third of Scots councils are using the “degrading” practice of flying care visits for vulnerable clients.

Over 5,000 Scots are being subjected to the 15 minute visits - referred to as time and task - according to the charity Leonard Cheshire. 

At least 5,182 people received personal care visits of 15 minutes or less for support with intimate care, based on data from councils that responded to the charity's Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to Scottish councils.   

The figures show that one in three - 31% - were commissioning 15 minute visits for the provision of personal care in 2016/17.

Ten councils responded to the FoI request while a further 13 local authorities gave unclear responses or did not provide responses at all.

For individuals receiving support at home 15 minute personal care visits barely allow for tasks to be completed, let alone develop a positive relationship between the individual, and their carer, the charity said.

Leonard Cheshire has campaigned against flying care visits for the last five years. It says good care transforms disabled people’s lives and the practice of 15 minute visits deprives them of "dignified and compassionate care."

The charity’s director for Scotland, Stuart Robertson, said: "These damning figures show that many vulnerable people are being failed by the social care system.

"Over five thousand Scots are being subjected to degrading 15 minute visits to support them with personal care needs. 

"We have to urgently address this scandal and 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, and this practice must come to an end.”

A spokesperson for the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said:  "We would not take a view on the merit of 15 minute visits in isolation because they can be an important part of a wider package of care.

“Furthermore, the context is important in that council budgets are under huge pressure and demand for adult social care is steadily on the rise.

"Most importantly, services should be commissioned on a person-centred basis with a focus on outcomes.

"Focusing on one element of care might not always tell the full story."