An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

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

Travel time

It is inconceivable that the visit allocation software cannot allow for travel time. 

If your dom-care company tries to explain away late arrival of its carers by saying that "We have other clients to deal with as well, you know.", say this:

"Go to your contract with the local council.  Look for 'Domestic carer arrival time - 70% or less success in being on time is perfectly acceptable.'.

If it does not include such a statement, you should operate to 100%."

If it says that no travel time is allowed just say:

"That is ridiculous."


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  The 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 some 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”.  


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A black picture often within the domain of dom-care staff on zero-hours contract, with disallowed travel time here