Home care workers across North Ayrshire will now be guaranteed that the quality of care they provide is never compromised.

That’s because this week North Ayrshire Council and the Health and Social Care Partnership officially signed up to Unison’s Ethical Care Charter.

As well as providing a guarantee about the quality of care, the Charter also makes sure appropriate employment conditions are in place to ensure the best-quality of care is provided to some of North Ayrshire’s most vulnerable residents.

The Council’s Cabinet agreed to the principles of the Charter last year and met with Unison this week to learn more and sign up.

Council Leader Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said:“We were delighted when Cabinet agreed to sign up to the Ethical Care Charter.

“It sends out a really positive message to all our home workers that we value each and every one of them and that the brilliant service they provide should never be compromised.

“It’s also reaffirming our commitment to those who need care that we will deliver care based on that need.”

By signing the Charter, the Council and Health and Social Care Partnership is committed to implementing a variety of improved standards for home care services commissioned by the Council.

The first set of principles that will be implemented include:

  • Care based on client need, not minutes or tasks
  • 15 minute visits should generally not be used, unless appropriate
  • Homecare workers to be paid for travelling time, travel costs and other necessary expenses
  • Visits to be scheduled based on needs
  • Eligible workers should be paid statutory sick pay

Councillor Peter McNamara, Chair of the Integrated Joint Board, added “This is another fantastic and hugely positive message that we are sending out.

“We spend approximately £17 million per year on in-house and purchased care at home delivering services to older people across North Ayrshire. The importance of the role they carry out can’t be overestimated in any way.”

A spokesperson for Unison said: “Home care workers are at the heart of a decent, caring society and do a complex, difficult job, often under tough circumstances.

“I am delighted that North Ayrshire Council has recognised the invaluable role they play. By signing UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter NAC has sent a clear message that quality care depends on quality pay and conditions, and on putting users at the heart of a properly funded service.”