Last year, an investigation by Unison found that the number of councils in England commissioning 15 minute home care visits is on the rise.
In 2013/14, 470,000 people used home care funded by local authorities in England, with the vast majority, 79 per cent, people aged 65 or older.
In draft guidance – the first of its kind to be developed by NICE for the home care sector – NICE recommends that commissioners ensure that home care workers should be given enough time to do their job without being rushed or compromising the dignity of the person who uses services. This includes having enough time to talk to the person and their carer, and adequate travel time between appointments.
Home care visits shorter than half an hour should only be made if the home care worker is known to the person and the visit is part of a wider package of support and the purpose of the visit can be properly undertaken in that time.
Visits shorter than half an hour can be used to check someone is safe and well, or to complete a specific, short time-limited task.