11 Days Remaining

Thursday 6th
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

A CAMPAIGN against whistle-stop home care visits is played out in a satirical film released today featuring former soap actress Claire Sweeney.

The “indignity” of the 15-minute slots is presented in a new video commissioned by public service union Unison showing the former Brookside actress and 60 Minute Makeover presenter holding a stopwatch and following around stressed-out carer Nisha.

The two-minute spoof named “15 Minute Care Makeover” has been made to show how cutbacks are leaving vulnerable and elderly people short-changed.

Nisha rushes around trying to help pensioner Frank — both played by actors — to get him ready for the day. She hands him a bowl of breakfast cereal while he is on the toilet just so she can meet the 15-minute deadline.

Frank’s medication also ends up scattered on the floor. Nisha knocks it off the kitchen worktop by accident because Claire keeps telling her to hurry up with her tasks.

At the end of the film, Claire blows a whistle and the “makeover” is revealed. A bewildered Frank is shown in just a shirt, vest and underpants looking almost identical as he did when she and Nisha arrived — and he was in bed.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This film highlights the human indignity suffered by thousands of vulnerable and elderly people across Britain.

“A care worker is often the only friendly face people see. The film sends a powerful message of the absurdity of giving care workers just a quarter of an hour to look after people.

“A 15-minute visit is not enough time to get people showered, dressed and fed, but government cuts to council care budgets mean this is the reality for many.

“Care workers just want to care, but they’re forced to rush visits. Ministers must act now and invest properly in social care.”

Nearly two-thirds — 65 per cent — of local authorities in England and Wales commission 15-minute care visits, according to the union’s research.

The findings are based on responses from more than 160 local authorities and include visits for handing out medication and for welfare checks.

Unison hopes that the video will jolt the government into taking action.