A Council report into home care for elderly and vulnerable people has avoided the thorny issue of 15-minute ‘flying visits’ despite acknowledging that they are a problem.
The paper into Council-organised home care has been drawn up at the request of a scrutiny committee so it can examine what is happening across the district.
Last summer a row broke out over claims that home carers were being given only 15 minutes to wash, cook and care for patients.
And earlier this year, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Bradford Council Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, who sits on the Council’s Health and Social Care overview and scrutiny committee, demanded answers to 12 key questions as part of the paper - including one about whether care staff were being put on controversial zero-hours contracts. Coun Sunderland slammed the report, saying “it leaves too many things in the long grass.”
“It does not answer any of the questions at all,” she said.
“I’m totally disgusted about the lack of information – they’re not facing up to the problems that people who are being cared for at home are facing.”
Its worth has also been questioned by Bradford East Lib Dem MP David Ward, who has long been vocal about issues around home care.
“We do know there’s still some work to do and we still need to know what the scale of the problems is. This is why the review is being carried out and it seems we’re still not there yet.
“If this is not really adding any information and providing us with something of value about this, what is the point?”
The document, issued by strategic director for adult services Janice Simpson, says: “The following report is not about 15-minute domiciliary care visits or the terms and conditions of employment of domiciliary care workers.
“This report sets out the context in which people with assessed eligible support needs are provided with that support.”
It says a separate review is looking into the matter of 15-minute care visits, but that last year a national body representing directors of adult social services “confirmed the position that in certain circumstances 15-minute visits were both appropriate and adequate”.
And it says other contentious issues of zero-hours contracts and payment for travel time “are being discussed on a regional basis and therefore are not commented upon in this report”.
Instead, it details the nature of domiciliary care and how it is arranged.
Councillor Mike Gibbons, who chairs the committee, said he did not want to comment on the contents of the report until it went before the meeting.
He said: “I know that a lot of the committee members have got strong feelings about this, and we will be looking at it very closely.”