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Should carers stay for the time they are paid?

(62 Posts)
thebridgeovertheriver Mon 28-Dec-15 19:44:37

Quick query about this, basically, AIBU to think that someone providing a home care visit should stay the length of time they are given?

So someone has fifteen minutes - shouldn't the carers be staying for the fifteen minutes and not running in and out as quickly as possible?


Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 28-Dec-15 19:46:16

Are you paying or NHS

thelouise Mon 28-Dec-15 19:47:30

Of course they should. The reality though, is that agencies rota too many calls too close together, so carers often need to rush visits or leave early if finished.

thebridgeovertheriver Mon 28-Dec-15 19:48:53

hmm Sally

thelouise, they told us they didn't need to stay once tasks were completed.

tethersend Mon 28-Dec-15 19:51:59

AFAIK, many carers are not paid for travelling time between visits, so it's understandable that they are reluctant to stay once the tasks have been done.

It's shit for everyone sad

Beth2511 Mon 28-Dec-15 19:53:48

When i did it we were expected to essentially get accros town in rush hoir in 0 minutes and would get so much grief for being late so often we had no choice

Stevenhydesafro1 Mon 28-Dec-15 19:59:29

15 minutes calls are ridiculous, the sooner they are banned the better.
On the very rare occasions the company I worked for accepted 15 min calls they were for welfare checks, had the client taken their meds etc.

We were permitted to leave 5 minutes early on each call or if the client said it was fine for us to leave (we weren't allowed to ask)

Out2pasture Mon 28-Dec-15 20:01:10

i worked in this area and my carers were assigned a task to accomplish (say help with meals) and an estimated time to complete this. once the task was complete they were to continue on to the next client. sadly socialization unless stipulated in the care plan is not included.
if the carers routinely finished an assignment early the clients needs could be reassessed and the allotted time decreased.

SummerSazz Mon 28-Dec-15 20:01:54

I've told my mum to give them extra tasks if they finish early (which they have done). It is massively expensive and they are paying so they should get the full time imo. It is shit that carers aren't paid between calls though sad

thelouise Mon 28-Dec-15 20:03:56

If carers are routinely able to complete all tasks to a good standard in less than the agreed time, then you need to discuss with a member of office staff at the agency because clearly, the allotted time is too much. That said, I'd only arrange 15 minute calls (I'm a social worker) when the only task is administering/supervising medication and a welfare check. My local authority will not authorise 15 minute calls without proper justification from the worker.

Notimefortossers Mon 28-Dec-15 20:04:54

I've done it too. For a long time.

Basically, what they've told you is right. The way it works is that the person being cared for has their needs assessed and an allotted time is given that the assessor deems is necessary to carry out the tasks required. As long as the tasks are completed to the required standard, the carer is not obliged to stay - and they will have been told this is the way it works by their employers.

Also, the points made by others are valid. The system is screwed. They're not paid for travelling time, but worse than that travelling time isn't even allowed for! So your rota will look like this . . .

7.00 Mrs X (15 minutes)
7.15 Mrs Y

Never mind the fact that it takes 10 minutes to get from Mrs X to Mrs Y's house! As they'll usually have around 6 calls to make that morning, the travelling time thing has a serious knock on effect!

Equally if Mrs X is only allotted 15 minutes, but the carer arrives to find she's in a situation where she needs longer than that, the carer would be expected to stay longer in order to carry out proper care and just put in a call to their manager, who SHOULD really then cover some of their other calls to compensate, but who probably won't and will probably tell them not to worry about it and just carry on - not terribly helpful as it's the carer feeling the pressure on the front line getting shouted out by Mrs Y for being late.

However, having said all this, you do get some shit carers who will run in and out without carrying out proper care - so you need to watch for that.

thebridgeovertheriver Mon 28-Dec-15 20:05:17

15 minute calls are the minimum and if they are leaving after the 15 minutes is the question.

Owllady Mon 28-Dec-15 20:08:08

Lol at nhs carers grin

I completely agree that fifteen minute care sessions should be banned

tethersend Mon 28-Dec-15 20:21:42

How long is the carer supposed to be there?

How long do they stay?

Are the tasks completed?

Are you paying privately for carers or are they funded/contracted via the NHS or social care?

hibbleddible Mon 28-Dec-15 20:46:33

It is completely relevant to ask how this care is paid for.

As others have pointed out, if travel time is not paid for and allowed for, then carers need to leave early.

Good quality care costs a premium. How much are you paying? If you arent paying at all, it is likely that the contract for the care has been given to the lowest bidder.

Notimefortossers Mon 28-Dec-15 20:57:23

The lowest bidder will still be charging the client around £15 per hour so it's really not acceptable for the care to be shit because they're not being paid as much as they could be :/

I really think direct payment are the way forward with care. Cut out the shitty agencies middle man. Let clients be fully involved in their care by employing their carers of their own choosing and let the carers be paid the full amount the client is actually paying for their care - rather than less than half of it!!

Think you'd see a vast improvement in care quality if that was the case

CaptainHammer Mon 28-Dec-15 21:05:39

I'm a home carer. Where I first worked they expected you to be in and out as soon as everything was done, I wouldn't have physically got to everyone if they had the full time (sadly too common and why I left).
Where I am now we have a proper amount of time allocated and travel time so I would only leave if client asked me to or family arrived and said it was ok for me to go.

Notimefortossers Mon 28-Dec-15 21:09:15

Do pm me the name of this fabulous company you work for CaptainHammer!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 28-Dec-15 21:40:30

The point being ... of you pay for the care you can employ directly and local so they get the full time you are paying for.
If its NHS you have an uphill battle for the basics.
DSIL is a home carer, rings ahead for any shopping or meds to be collected, chats and cleans kitchen, sorts washing, puts a load on, dose dinner - makes sure they eat and meds. Sorts anything else as requested, bills, vets, appointments etc. - but heyho

MyMoneyIsAllSpent Mon 28-Dec-15 21:45:43

I am with CaptainHammer. My employer is fabulous! All my calls are for a minimum of one hour and they take great care to match carers to clients and I am rarely put under any pressure to take on calls that do not suit me. I have to add though, that as far as I am aware, all of our clients pay privately.

I have worked for other companies, they sent me on 15 minute calls that cost me so much in petrol I ended up paying for the priviledge of working for them. sad

CaptainHammer Mon 28-Dec-15 21:53:35

MyMoney The majority of mine pay privately too. We are lucky!

NoTime They really are lovely. We're hiring if you're in the south east!

Notimefortossers Mon 28-Dec-15 21:54:16

People can still employ directly if they are funded Sally through Direct Payments, where the funder pays the client an amount of money deemed adequate for the provision of their care and they are free to use it on who they wish . . . but for some reason ss are reluctant to make this information widely available to people

That's why I left my last home care position Mymoneyisallspent It worked out that when I deducted what I was spending on petrol from my hourly rate I was earning something like £4.20 p/h!! And that was only 2 years ago! Pretty sickening when I knew the small, nice family run little company that I thought were oh so brilliant at the start were charging the client £15 odd p/h!

MyMoneyIsAllSpent Mon 28-Dec-15 22:00:51

It's not right! At all.

I love my job. I find it so rewarding, except financially sad

If I had my way I would get the NHS to take over all of this type of care and we should get paid a decent wage, a decent petrol allowance and time to travel between clients and also, a decent amount of time with each client. It makes me so sad to know that I am sometimes the only person they see in a day. And I feel uncomfortable about the amount of profit that care companies make. A 'middle man' that should clearly be cut out.

Emotional care is as vital as physical care and you can't give that in 15 minutes.

Notimefortossers Mon 28-Dec-15 22:11:21

Absolutely. My auntie went out on her own a couple of years ago. Was a bit of a faff getting all the necessary paperwork in place and getting cleared with CQC etc, but she's never been happier. Gets paid a decent wage direct from her clients and is therefore able to provide decent care. She's good at what she does therefore she's never struggled for work - gets all her clients from word of mouth! Her clients either pay privately if they are able or are funded through Direct Payments

StuffandBother Mon 28-Dec-15 22:11:25

Totally relevant whether you pay or not so not sure why the hmm face? I worked for a 'free' service, we stayed for as long as necessary, so if patient A only needed a quick 3-4 minute call to check she had taken her meds and patient B needed 1.5hrs for whatever reason it worked perfectly, it gave the carers autonomy to spend their time with the people who needed it.

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