Andrew Smith MP secured a debate on home care and the plight of care workers in Westminster Hall.
Andrew used the debate to call for action across the board to raise the standards of home care provision and the terms and conditions of home care workers.
The debate was initiated by Andrew in response to the alarming conclusions of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report -- published last month - that found that a quarter of home care service providers were failing to meet very basic standards of care. These standards include treating people with dignity and respect, making sure food and drink meets people's needs, and making sure that the environment around them is clean and safe.
Andrew drew attention also to the Unison Time to Care report showing that home care workers were routinely restricted to fifteen minute appointments with clients, meaning that they all too often faced impossible decisions between assisting clients with meals, washing, or going to the toilet. Those who did spend longer with clients were not paid to do so and this often made them late for other appointments.
Andrew called for better training, working conditions, and terms of employment for home care workers, who in most cases are currently not paid for travel time or costs, meaning that in effect, they are paid far less than the minimum wage.
Andrew said that both carers, and the vulnerable people they care for, are being let down by a "lack of framework of standards and entitlements." He supported Unison's call for an "ethical care charter" to be adopted by local authorities, and spoke of a need for "better safeguards" for both carers and their clients.
Andrew called for the government to take action "on the issues of training, to consistent and accredited standards, the question of a professional register, properly enforced standards, the adequacy of inspection, comprehensive enforcement of the minimum wage, and indeed promotion of the living wage."