Who cares? Comments on Dispatches
This week Channel 4’s Dispatches broadcast a heartbreaking investigation into domiciliary care. Through the installation of secret camera’s we saw the care calls (when they did happen) to Edith, an 87 year old mother with dementia.
For those involved in care we were not surprised to see missed calls, short visits and essential tasks missed. What always shocks though is the lack of compassion shown.
How then can care in the UK be improved?
1) If we want caring carers then employers need to care for them! We pay above the National Living Wage (for all staff), pay for the actual travel time taken (no flat fees) and provide emotional and practical support where allegations are made.
2) Stronger accountability/penalties – pay for care delivered (not care contracted) and this may make a company that intends to complete 100% of visits more economically viable than one that gets paid for 100% but only does 75%!
3) Bolder commissioning? Why not invest long-term in the voluntary sector to develop caring services (with any profits going back into services) as opposed to always seeking cheapest providers – who still manage to pay nearly £5,000,000 to their owners!
The vast majority of home carers do an amazing job in difficult circumstances with often very little reward or recognition. However unless changes in the way care are made we unfortunately expect there to be more stories like Edith’s coming to light.