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Care patients in Kingston not subjected to "inappropriate" 15-minute visits
Care patients in Kingston are not subjected to the 15-minute flying visits from carers condemned by a charity this week, a senior Kingston Council officer has said.
Head of adult care Simon Pearce said there was a “critical distinction” between the short visits paid to check patients are taking their medication, and visits which occur elsewhere in the country when care workers are forced to prepare meals, take patients to the lavatory, and more, in just a quarter of an hour.
Clare Pelham, chief executive of the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity, said in a report this week: “Disabled people shouldn’t be going thirsty just so they can go to the toilet.”
Conservative councillor Julie Pickering, opposition lead member for adult services, said: “It may be that you just want to check they have got their medication, but don’t want to hang around, because you want to get them to become more independent.”
Such visits can be used to check on people rehabilitating from injuries like falls, she said.
Government Care Minister Norman Lamb told the Comet: “Some visits, if it is to administer medication, for example, it may be appropriate to have a quick visit.
“But for personal care such as washing and dressing, or cooking, or using the toilet, and so forth, these kind of short visits are completely inappropriate.”
Mr Lamb also said the Government will create an adult safeguarding board to make sure councils take care of their patients.
Earlier this year the Surrey Comet reported complaints of abuse from adults receiving home care had rocketed to 307 in 2011-12 from 72 the year before.
The rise was put down to was due to a combination of more adults being cared for at home, and better reporting and recording processes.
Mr Lamb said under new plans care agencies will have to meet “fundamental standards of care”.
He said: “If they fail to meet those standards of care, if the failure is bad enough, they can be prosecuted straight away.”
Kingston Council’s budget for home care has decreased from slightly less than £4m in 2009-10 to £1.75m this year.
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