By Connie Osborne Thursday 10 October 2013 Updated: 11/10 09:51
SPENDING just 15 minutes caring for elderly and vulnerable people has been labelled 'disgraceful' by Alcester's healthcare champion.
Currently 63 local authorities, including Warwickshire County Council, commission the visits by carers for the elderly and disabled as part of a scheme to lower social care spending under Government cuts.
But charities such as Leonard Cheshire Disability have hit out at those using the packages claiming it 'deprives' people of essential care.
At an Alcester Town Council meeting on Tuesday (October 8), Coun Lennox Cumberbatch, who is responsible for health and inequalities on the community committee for the town, said he had written to the county council to voice his concerns about those in th area who received this type of care.
He said in such a short amount of time people could not be given the quality of care they deserved and feared they were not receiving enough social interaction as home carers could often be the only source of social contact in an elderly person’s day.
"I think for those agencies which have signed on to this agreement, it is disgraceful," he said.
"I can appreciate there are a few circumstances where 15 minutes may be adopted but it does not include social interchange."
He said the idea someone visited for 15 minutes in the morning to help a person out of bed and to make them breakfast, then again at lunch and dinner, ruled out the 'social element' of care and was not enough time spent with them.
"We are being told more and more people should be treated and looked after in their own homes and in the community and yet this is happening," Coun Cumberbatch added.
"I think we need to look very closely at the quality and level of our social services at the moment."
But a spokesman for Warwickshire County Council said only 12 per cent of social care users were following the 15 minute plan.
He said the visits would never be made to someone who needed help washing or dressing but would include giving them medication or making them a drink or light snack.
He added they were often additional calls on top of the 15 minute care they were receiving.
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