Article 465 out of 2189
Comments below from Bryan McMorrine, Managing Director at Right at Home Central London:
"Like many of you, I watched Monday night’s Dispatches ‘Britain's Pensioner Care Scandal’ with great interest.
"As a provider of high private quality homecare in Central London, I had no idea just how stretched caregivers working for social services are, or the subsequent low standards of care that some vulnerable people receive.
"The two main issues that seem to have come from the program are that social service budgets are stretched too far and that all homecare providers have a greater responsibility to ensure their staff are providing a quality and caring service.
"Our standard minimum visit is one hour. We do not feel that quality can be delivered over a shorter period of time. The local authorities have recognised that 15 minute visits can’t deliver the care needed so many now have a minimum of 30 minutes, which is an improvement. However, if the carers ‘clip’ these visits short then there really is no difference in the time spent with clients.
"At Right at Home Central London, we use a mobile app so we can see exactly what time our care givers arrive and leave an appointment, through the use of unique client barcodes. Punctuality is key to delivering a high quality service. We allow sufficient travel time between visits and travel in our own time not the clients.
"Anyone watching the program will realise that being a care giver is a tough job. Helping vulnerable people can be unpleasant at times and very rewarding at other times. It is vital that people willing to do such roles must be given the proper training, support and compensation.
"We have a very in-depth carer training and are the only provider to offer a City & Guilds accredited Care Certificate as part of our standard training. We pay above the London Living Wage and cover travel expenses yet charge in line with other providers in the area.
"We have an amazing team of support workers who all have a genuine passion to care for other and help improve quality of life for our clients. One of the things that hit me most watching last night’s show was the carers that sat on their phones and did not talk or interact with clients. Our team would never do that as have been fully trained to recognise the importance of social interaction, along with fulfilling all he designated tasks on each visits.
"We also aim to keep a consistent support worker assigned to each client so they can build a close relationship and find the visits more enjoyable.
"It is easy to think that private homecare is only available to those with a lot of money but that’s not case. Anyone receiving social care can elect to take a financial equivalent and choose his or her own homecare provider. Please visit the Right at Home website to learn more about the funding options available.
"Local authorities have seen cuts of £20bn to their budgets over the last five years. This has meant £436m less for homecare. The government clearly needs to revisit this or, as Dispatches concluded, less providers will be able to operate a quality service at the rates the councils can afford to pay.
"Thanks for reading and please feel free to call me if you would like to discuss in more detail."