The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for '15 minute care' to be made a thing of the past. The party has tabled amendments to the Social Services and Well-being Bill, being debated in the Assembly today, calling for the practice to end.
Figures released in June 2013 show 83% of local authorities in Wales commission 15 minute care visits. This can mean care workers are asked to provide personal care to an individual in a timeframe that does not allow them to be supported with dignity or for any meaningful personal contact.
The penultimate stage of the bill's passage is to take place in the National Assembly this afternoon. In total, there have been over 800 amendments made to the bill since it was first published.
Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
"Fifteen minutes is simply not long enough to respond properly to the needs of those receiving care.
"First and foremost people want to be treated like human beings. Fifteen minutes is hardly enough time to help get someone out of bed and dressed, let alone to have a conversation with them.
"Too often we hear stories from people where, essentially, they have had to choose between having a meal or going to the toilet. This 'conveyer-belt' type of care is not acceptable in this day and age.
"Care workers do a particularly difficult job. The fact is that care visits lasting less than a quarter of an hour not only let down patients, but they also let down the care workers who can't offer the full support they would like to.
"Occasionally a fifteen minute visit or less is perfectly acceptable; but that should never be the norm. The amendments I have made to the Social Services Bill will allow for those exceptions.
"The Welsh Liberal Democrats remain to be convinced by this bill. Whilst we support the ideas and principles behind the bill we do not think it has been drafted in a way that will deliver on those ideas. There are also still also huge issues around eligibility and cost that can't be ignored."