Putting an End to 15-Minute Care Visits

In the UK millions of people receive care at home every day. Without this care many would not be able to eat, drink, see to their personal care needs nor take the right medication as prescribed to them. Good quality care helps people with the very fundamentals of their life and it is clear that such quality care cannot be delivered in just 15-minutes.

In recent trends we have seen an increase of flying 15-minute visits throughout the country for people who really need fundamental care. However if those of us who do not have a disability nor are elderly nor frail take, on average, around 40 minutes to simply get up, dress, eat and go the toilet, how can just 15-minute visits be sufficient for those in need of full care and support?

In a Leonard Cheshire ComRes polling of 2,025 British adults, conducted between 6 and 8 September 2013:

“78% agree that 15-minute care visits deprive disabled and older people of their dignity.”


“93% of people agree that a 15-minute visit is not long enough to support a disabled or older person to do everyday things like wash, dress and get out of bed in the morning.”

Flying 15-minute care visits can also mean that care workers are asked to provide personal care, including supporting people to dress, bathe, eat and go to the toilet, in a timeframe that does not allow dignity or respect.

When speaking to our care workers at Braeburn Care about their previous experience they also raised their concerns about 15-minute care visits and the impact that they can have on customers they have supported in the past.

Their views included:

“We are often the only human contact some of our customers have on a day to day basis so when you visit for only 15-minutes you feel as if you’re letting them down and not giving them the care and support they need and rightly deserve.”

“15-minutes is insufficient time to be able to do anything probably, by the time you’ve said hello, read the care plan and asked what they would like for breakfast, the 15-minutes can often be already nearing an end.”

“Having just 15-minutes put a lot of pressure onto us as care workers and normally meant we would over run resulting in being late for our next customers.”

To ensure that our customers receive the support they need, live with dignity and respect and benefit from the care we deliver, at Braeburn Care the shortest visit we provide is a minimum of 30 minutes. We do this to support both our customers and our care workers.

We are thrilled that in recent news it has been confirmed that ministers have ordered an end to 15-minute care visits, after a series of investigations found elderly people being forced to choose between being washed or fed, under “clock-watching” practices.*

Care minister Norman Lamb said the practice of “flying care visits” had no place in a civilized society, and must be stamped out within a year.*

Norman Lamb went on to say “We know there are too many examples of rushed care visits and it’s completely inappropriate to allow less than half an hour to help people eat, get dressed or get out of bed.*

It is vital for our ever ageing population that the government urgently addresses the crisis of 15-minute care visits and that we all work together, government, councils and private organisations to raise the standards and only be seen to be delivering the highest standard of care and drive our services on the basis of commitment and compassion to each and every one of our customers. It is the least that people deserve.

* http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11449948/Ministers-pledge-an-end-to-15-minute-elderly-care-visits.html

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