Conservatives at the County Council refused to support a request asking them to sign up to the UNISON Ethical Care Charter as soon as possible.
Signing the Charter would mean an end to 15 minute appointments; ensuring wherever possible vulnerable residents are routinely visited by the same carer; and that carers are paid for their travel time between appointments. It establishes improved standards for safety, quality and dignity of care.
A cross-party approach made by Liberal Democrat and Labour County Councillors pointed to the huge contribution made by carers during the Covid-19 pandemic and argued that it was high time care-workers were properly rewarded. This was rejected by the Conservatives.
Kathy Ballard said, “Care visits should be scheduled so as not to rush client or the carer, and 15-minute appointments should not be used. Anyone who’s received these 15-minute appointments will tell you it risks undermining the dignity of clients, and carers feel they can’t do a proper job in such a short timescale. There is no reason why the County Council should not sign up to this Ethical Charter as many other local authorities have done. It would give a strong message to our carers that we recognise the value of the work they are doing. I’m really disappointed that Conservative Councillors didn’t support this.”
Since it was launched in 2013, 46 councils responsible for social care have signed the Charter.