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Health watchdog tells the government that flying visits must stop

16th September 2015

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has told councils that flying visits by carers to older people must stop, insisting that a minimum of 30 minutes should be spent with clients. This is as a result of more people experiencing increasingly shorter visits by carers who may not have visited them previously.

However, the suggestions by NICE are merely recommendations, with government cuts making it difficult for them to be enforced by councils. While local councils have a statutory duty to provide home care to those living independently with the help of stairlifts and walk-in baths and showers, it will be difficult to put these points into action, as they do not have the money to do so. Worryingly, with more cuts expected, it will be even harder to maintain the standards that are being carried out today.

System lacking funds to meet demands of recommended improvements

These vital visits help those with mobility difficulties carry out routine tasks that they find difficult, such as dressing, washing, cooking and cleaning. Aside from this, the company is often extremely valuable to those who are visited. Not only are they not always receiving enough help with day-to-day tasks, but they are also receiving care from strangers due to the lack of continuity with care workers.

There is another added problem, as older people admitted to hospital are often unable to be discharged because there is inadequate social care available to take care of them once they leave.

A recent article published by the Daily Mirror stated that ‘social care is in chaos’, due to a £4billion pay gap existing between what is needed to provide a decent service, and what the government is willing to spend. This is also expected to grow by £700 million a year due to the ageing population.

Image Credit: Chris Marchant (

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.