Cambridgeshire carers to be electronically monitored

CARERS in Cambridgeshire are now being electronically monitored by the county council so appointments are not missed or shortened.

The council has introduced a new system where carers have to register when they arrive at and leave a client’s home to ensure they spend the maximum time with their patients.

Dr Helen Brown, chief executive of the St Ives-based Crossroads Care, said they have had the system in place for its carers for a year.

“We’ve had a really positive response from our carers,” she told The Hunts Post. “It’s not about keeping track on what they are doing, it is to make sure that our clients have the right amount of care.

“The system should enhance the level of service and will make sure that people get the service they pay for.

“It also means that if a carer is going to miss their next appointment, then another carer can be sent so the same standard of care is given.”

Dr Brown added: “The part that needs to change is the 15-minute calls which don’t give enough time for carers. It’s very difficult for them to achieve their standard of care in that time.

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“The system will cut the number of agency staff who leave early to get to their next appointments because they don’t have enough time between visits. It will highlight any issues like this.”

Unison, which represents some carers, said the monitoring would restrict “discretionary time” with clients.

A spokesman said: “Most feedback on this kind of thing suggests carers don’t actually get enough time with the people who really need their help. This would put even greater pressure on their time.”

A county council spokesman said: “Electronic Home Care Call Monitoring has been introduced as a requirement of our contract with home care agencies which has just been re-tendered.

“It is designed to ensure that the care delivered is in line with what has been agreed and to ensure the best use of public money.”