Council criticised for short home care visits

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ELDERLY and disabled people are being dealt with in ‘unacceptably short’ 15min home care visits in Portsmouth, it has been claimed.

Research by Unison has shown Portsmouth City Council and 14 other authorities in the South East are still carrying out the flying visits, despite repeated calls home visits should be longer.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘It is heartbreaking and distressing that many elderly and disabled people are not being cared for in a humane and dignified manner.’

But Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for health and social care, Councillor Luke Stubbs, said 15min visits were appropriate in some cases.

He said: ‘The clients’ needs are assessed by social care professionals and in some cases shorter visits will be suitable for client needs.

‘My mother, who doesn’t live in Portsmouth, has quarter-of an-hour visits to get her up in the morning and it’s perfectly manageable.’

Cllr Stubbs said 15mins were not done as a cost-cutting measure, although the council faced budgetary restraints and had overspent on domiciliary care.

Hampshire County Council was not among those listed as carrying out 15min visits.