Leading union says UK's army of care workers are under more pressure than ever before
Unison is highlighting the plight facing thousands of its care sector members in a new film.
The "15-minute care makeover" film shows former Brookside actor Claire Sweeney presenting a TV challenge in which a nurse tries to care for an older man by washing him, making him breakfast and organising his medication within the alloted time frame.
The video is launched as nearly two-thirds (65%) of councils in England and Wales are commissioning 15-minute care visits, according to figures from the union.
The findings are based on responses from more than 150 local authorities and include visits for handing out medication and for welfare checks.
In the film, Sweeney is impervious to the nurse’s resentment at being forced to rush through the care visit and the man is left sitting on his bed after the nurse has left looking bereft.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "This film highlights the human indignity thousands of vulnerable and elderly people across Britain face. A care worker is often the only face people see.
“It sends a powerful message of the absurdity of giving care workers just fifteen minutes to support people.
"A 15-minute visit is not enough time to get people showered, dressed and fed. However, 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."