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Alex backs campaign to end flying homecare visits

Member of Parliament for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, today joined leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire in Parliament to back their calls for an end to flying 15 minute homecare visits.

Research by the organisation has revealed that at least 33,305 people in England received 15-minute care visits in 2015/16. Of these, 16,311 received them in areas where councils admit to still using ‘flying’ visits for personal care to support people with intimate needs such as washing, dressing and eating.

Alex Cunningham MP said:

“I am pleased to join Leonard Cheshire in calling for an end to these undignified and unsafe ‘flying’ care visits. None of us would want our family and friends to receive personal care visits as short as 15 minutes, so we should not accept this happening across the country to anyone else.”

Short care visits continue despite statutory guidance accompanying the Care Act 2014, which came into force in April 2015, stating that short home-care visits of 15 minutes or less are not appropriate for people who need support with intimate care needs. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) also advises that carers must spend a minimum of 30 minutes during visits to help keep people well.

Neil Heslop, Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Chief Executive added:

“These ‘flying’ care visits are completely unacceptable, forcing disabled people to choose between eating or going to the loo, depriving them of their dignity.

These visits are a symptom of a wider issue surrounding social care funding. To ensure we can sustainably fund social care for everyone who needs it in future, a cross-party commission on the future of health and social care is vital. We are calling on the government to set this up without delay.”

Over 10,000 people have written to the Care Minister, David Mowat, in support of the campaign, urging him to take action to ensure social care is properly funded and put an end to these rushed care visits.