An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

                            Our independent days ended when my wife broke her hip joint in 2014

Paper presented to Promoting Independence on 4th February 2016


A Herefordshire Council  engagement workshop for care provision stakeholders

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To any carer in dispute with the dom-care provider - hence the local Council

I would like to invite you to attend an engagement workshop about Promoting Independence on Thursday 4th February from 9am–4pm The purpose of the event is to share ideas and work collectively on redesigning and re-commissioning domiciliary care provision in Herefordshire. It will be an opportunity for health and care representatives across the county to work together and to hear some of the challenges and success stories from a range of stakeholders. We will, then begin to shape the priorities and outcomes that we need the service to deliver in order to help people live as independently as they can.”

Sukhdev Dosanjh - Assistant Director Commissioning Adults and Wellbeing Herefordshire Council


Home care workers must be given enough time to spend with elderly and disabled people and  must have enough travelling time between appointments, a health watchdog has said. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said home help visits of less than 30 minutes were not acceptable unless part of a wider package of support. It has published new guidance for councils that commission care as well as firms providing services.    Newspaper report

SCIE - Social Care Institute for Excellence  Its website includes the same as the newspaper report. Read much more via the link at the foot of the page.

The following is taken from  The Cavendish Review, An Independent Review into Healthcare Assistants and Support Workers in the NHS and social care settings.  

An inescapable fact is that good caring takes time. It will not be possible to build a sustainable, caring, integrated health and social care system on the backs of domiciliary care workers who have to travel long distances on  zero hours contracts, to reach people who have to see multiple different faces each week. Local authorities must start to commission for outcomes, not by the minute which is a false economy when so many staff are quitting ... And staff must be paid for travel time, since non-payment can push their earnings below the National Minimum Wage

At its core, caring is about building relationships. Caring properly takes time. Some low paid HCAs and support workers will heroically keep going as long as they feel they are still giving good care. But the advent of zero hours contracts, fee cuts and no payment for travel time is making it financially prohibitive for many domiciliary care workers to struggle on Attrition rates are already dangerously high: and they will only increase when carers feel that they can no longer even give good care. Society will lose some talented carers unless the commissioning process changes radically and Government starts to move money from health to reward social care for its contribution to lowering NHS costs.

The crucial quotation is from a dom-care assistant – “We feel like Polyfilla”. The writer discussed issues raised here with executives of the company employing the DCA. They refused to accept that staff were discontent with lack of travel time. 

The update on my webpage was sent to the executives who withdrew services. “.. re-commissioning domiciliary care provision in Hereford­shire ..” needs to ensure that unreliable companies are rigorously inspected to ensure continuity of service and that issues raised in this paper are addressed. Too many clients cannot live independently. Provision must be bullet-proof.

hear some of the challenges and success stories . .of stakeholders..” Failure stories from unpaid carers and their carees would be far more instructive to “ .. redesigning and re-commissioning domiciliary care provision in Herefordshire”. Many more meetings are needed specifically for carees and their unpaid carers.

Paper written by 


pagetop        for pasting   Paper presented to Promoting Independence on 4th February 2016 here.

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