Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed has called for a new kitemark of quality that would be awarded to care companies in Cumbria that meet best practice employment practices and standards of care.
It is often reported that care companies across the country employ carers on Zero-Hours Contracts and do not pay carers for the time it takes to travel between appointments. This compromises the quality and type of care provided. Jamie Reed’s new ‘Gold Standard’ will enable carers and those who rely on carers to see which care companies treat their staff well, and therefore provide better standards of care.
The kitemark would be awarded to care companies that keep staff on proper contracts, are paid travel time between appointments, minimise the use of 15-minute care visits and pay their staff a living wage.
Jamie Reed, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Copeland and Shadow Health Minister, said:
“The needs of people who are relying on care are getting more, not less complex and we do not yet have the services that can provide that care to a sufficient level.
“Too many people are let down by social care which is forcing more and more older people to turn to overstretched GP services and packed-out Accident and Emergency departments. Not only that, we expect our loved ones to be cared for by overworked, under paid staff, that are often paid the minimum wage. This isn’t right, and it isn’t the fault of social care workers.
“We need a new Gold Standard of care. A new mark of quality will show those who rely on care and those who work in the care sector which care providers provide the highest quality of care and meet best practice standards of employment.
“By introducing new apprenticeships and professional qualifications for carers, Labour will raise the standing of the profession. Nothing is ore important than ensuring our family and friends, and the country’s vulnerable people, get the care they need and that those who are caring for them have secure work, and are fairly paid for the crucial job they do. We can’t improve care standards if we don’t improve working conditions for social carers.”