’15 minute care policy’ is slammed in Moray Council

Councillor Sean Morton

A Moray councillor has slammed a policy that insists care workers restrict visits to elderly and disabled people to not more than 15 minutes.

At a meeting of Moray Council’s health and social care committee on Wednesday, Fochabers/Lhanbryde Councillor Sean Morton said that he had learned such a practice was in place and sought assurances that this was not the case in Moray.

When told that no such assurance could be given Councillor Morton said: “What I got was the opposite, an assurance that they are happening and will continue to happen.

“While officers would only tell me that they happen in instances where people are being given medication, I fear this is the tip of the iceberg.

“Where is this administration’s commitment to dignity in retirement and for disabled people?”

Councillor Morton’s question was prompted by earlier comments from Unison’s Scottish organiser, Dave Watson, who said: “Cuts imposed from the Westminster government are in Scotland falling very heavily on local government.

“We have heard of 15-minute care visits, some of my home care members would tell you that is a luxury in some parts of Scotland.”

However, Sandy Riddell, Moray Council’s director of education and social care, said that there are instances were care visits last longer.

He said: “Often people may receive a short visit as part of a bigger care package, where they have several visits in the course of a day – with some of those visits lasting considerably more than 15 minutes.”

Mr Riddell admitted that the issue had caused a deal of worry and anxiety to many people, but added “I think a lot of it is scaremongering.”

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