Cut-Price Care?

Posted on 5th February 2014 by

I happened to catch part of the Radio 4 programme called Cut-Price Care last night. They looked at whether we can be confident that home care provided for older people and those with disabilities is of proper quality.

They say “Ministers have promised a new focus on home care for the elderly and disabled amid concern that 15-minute calls and a low-paid, under-skilled workforce are leaving vulnerable people at risk.”

Hands of an older lady

Brighton & Hove has a series of private companies providing home care for them, with a budget of over £11 million a year. Some of the care provided is exceptionally good, and some is not so good – and according to Radio 4, this tends to be the picture across the country. Their programme makes the point: you wouldn’t want to be the unlucky person who happened to have their care provided by a not-so-good company, would you?

In partnership with Brighton & Hove Council, Impetus undertakes independent assessment of home care. We use trained volunteers – mostly highly qualified ex-social care professionals – who interview older people in their own homes asking how they feel about the care they receive. We have found that people are more likely to give an honest answer about their experiences anonymously and to an independent person than to either the home care company themselves or to a Council officer.

We provide this information each month to the Council who feed it into their wider quality assurance work. Ours is a small piece of work (although it could be much bigger!) and it is vital in making sure that the voices of the most vulnerable people are heard in a complex system when pressure to cut costs is so intense.

Learn more about our Lay Assessors Scheme or volunteer with us.

Listen to the whole Radio 4 programme – File on 4: Cut-Price Care

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