Disabled people forced to choose between staying thirsty and going to the toilet
· FOI investigation reveals councils are increasing the number of “flying 15 minute care visits” even though it takes most of us 40 minutes to get up, washed and dressed and eat breakfast
· Campaign to end the scandal of 15 minute care visits backed by Esther Rantzen, TV personality, founder of the children’s helpline ChildLine and the helpline for isolated and vulnerable older people the Silver Line
· Government urged to back public demand to give disabled and older people decent care through the Care Bill
Two-thirds of local councils are commissioning 15 minute visits despite major concerns they deprive disabled people of essential care, according to a new report by leading charity Leonard Cheshire Disability
Over the past five years the proportion of visits of 15 minutes or less has risen by 15%. And in extreme cases, some local authorities are commissioning three quarters of all their home care visits in 15 minutes or less.
TV personality and founder of the children’s helpline ChildLine and the Silver Line, Esther Rantzen, is backing the charity’s call to end 15 minute care visits. She said: “I believe it is cruel to treat people like products on a conveyor belt. Providing this kind of care is a personal service and should be accompanied by conversation and at least half an hour of the care worker’s time. It must be deeply distressing for the care worker too when they are unable to treat their client with any dignity or respect because they simply haven’t got the time.”
The report ‘Ending 15 Minute Care’ reveals that UK adults take on average at least 40 minutes to carry out essential tasks including getting up, washing, dressing and eating breakfast. However, local councils are increasingly expecting disabled people to complete these tasks in 15 minutes.
In a survey by leading pollsters ComRes of 2025 British adults, more than nine in ten or 96% of the public who expressed an opinion backed the charity’s call for the Government to do more to support disabled people to carry out essential everyday tasks like washing, dressing and getting out of bed in the morning. 93% of the public who expressed an opinion also agreed that a 15 minute visit was not enough to support a disabled or older person carry out everyday tasks like washing, getting dressed or getting out of bed.