By Debbie le Quesne

The 15-minute nightmare: Is there a real solution?

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The 15-minite calls debate contines to hit the headlines with Care Minister, Norman Lamb, telling the BBC it is “completely inappropriate” for councils in England to timetable such slots for carers to visit elderly or disabled people.

The Leonard Cheshire Disability charity found there had been an increase in “flying visits” and disabled people often had to chose between having a drink made for them or being helped to the toilet.

Mr Lamb told the Today programme’s John Humphrys earlier this week that the government was pooling together health and care budgets in the future and he hoped this would improve levels of care.

How? Is this exercise going to magically generate more financial sleeve? If anything I can see it creating tension between the NHS and social care operations – no-one is going to willingly give up their share to serve the other’s purpose.

Fact: More people need more care.

Fact: The government appears to have no political will to support the work of private care providers even though many local authorities do.

Fact: Costs of providing care continue to increase.

Fact: Social care is creaking with providers’ businesses failing.

Fact: I am increasing ashamed by a central political policy that appears to penalise our most frail citizens.

Fact: I am getting depressed writing this blog.

Sally Lubanov, who has been receiving care and is housebound, explained her situation and outlined the level of care that she receives in a Radio 4 Today programme: “It would be wonderful to have my bed changed and have my legs and my feet done,” she says.

Fact: It appears the carers who visit her just don’t have enough time allotted to her call.

By pooling NHS and social care financial resources, will someone tell me how this is going to increase the amount of cash available – because that’s what’s needed to resolve the problem?

It’s a grey morning outside and the forecast is gloomy with more rain apparently on the way. How fitting!

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