Vulnerable people needing care are missing meals and left unwashed because staff are trying to squeeze in too many visits to do their jobs properly, new research has revealed.
Public service union Unison carried out a survey of 1,000 staff which revealed that carers often have only 15 minutes to help their clients eat, drink or have a shower.
The survey showed that three out of four feared they were compromising the dignity of those in their care because they were forced to fit in too many visits.
Nine out of 10 said they did not have time to chat, even though the person they looked after may not see anyone else that day.
Government privatisation policies have forced councils to hand contracts for NHS services to privateers, who are pressing carers to carry out more visits for the sake of profit.
Just over half of the care workers were on zero-hours contracts and almost two-thirds said they were not paid for the time they spent travelling between visits, leaving them with less than the minimum wage.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Care workers and those they look after are suffering because standards are routinely being breached.
“Care workers and the vulnerable people they look after will continue to be failed by a flawed system unless the government acts.”