Elderly and disabled people who receive "flying" care visits are being forced to choose between staying thirsty and going to the toilet.
Today's benefit changes are about as sensitive as they come - which is why a cool head is needed to analyse the proposals
The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will be replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people aged 16 to 64 from 8 April.
The care minister Norman Lamb has said it is "unrealistic" to think 15 minutes is enough time to provide adequate care to the elderly and disabled.
Data obtained from 63 local authorities in England by a care charity found that three-fifths now commission 15-minute visits, despite concerns that short visits "deprive" people of essential care.
Norman Lamb said there were too many examples of councils buying "rushed care visits": "It's unrealistic to think that 15 minutes is enough time to help people who are older or who have a disability to do everyday things like wash, dress and get out of bed.
"It's not fair on those who need support and it's not fair on care workers."
The minister insisted the Government needed to help provide "better care for the 300,000 people currently getting home care" and for those likely to need it in the future.
Shorter care visits to elderly and disabled people are "fully justified", the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) has argued.
Data obtained by the Leonard Chesire Disability charity found the number of 15-minute care visits in England were on the rise, despite concerns that shorter visits "deprive" people of essential care.
However, Adass president Sandie Keene insisted 15-minute visits are "fully justified and fully adequate", adding: "It is totally wrong to believe that all tasks need more than 15 minutes to carry out.
"And frankly naive to believe that simply by abolishing 15-minute slots a magic wand will have been waved, and improvements automatically achieved in our care services. It doesn't work like that."
The number of 15-minute care visits to elderly and disabled people are on the rise, despite concern the short visits "deprive" people of essential care.
Data obtained from 63 local authorities by Leonard Cheshire Disability found three-fifths now commission 15-minute visits.
A new report by the charity estimates the proportion of visits that last 15 minutes or less has risen by 15 percent over the past five years.
The report said that the short visits "simply do not allow enough time to deliver good-quality care".
Work assessments for the disabled have improved "considerably" and are much more "accurate", the Department for Work and Pensions said today, after the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral urged the Prime Minister to axe the tests.
A department spokesperson said:
It is important we don't simply write-off people who have a health condition or disability. The old incapacity benefits system condemned too many people to a life on benefits with little hope of moving back to work.
Now people who can work will be given help to find a job while those who need unconditional support will get it.
The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral has signed a letter to David Cameron urging the Prime Minister to axe work assessments for the disabled which can "cut short their lives".
The Very Rev Dr David Ison joined campaigners demanding an end to the controversial work capability assessments (WCA) which "demean and distress" disabled people.
Addressed to the Prime Minister, the letter states: "Since your Government came to power, cuts have meant that disabled people are paying back nine times more than non-disabled people and those with the highest support needs are paying back nineteen times more."
"The support needs of complex disabilities and mental health issues cannot be assessed by a tick-box system".
David Cameron has tweeted a photo of his meeting with business "role models" at today's disability summit.
He wrote: "Inspiring to meet Disability Confident role models in business, with Esther McVey MP."
Medical charities and disability campaigners have accused the government of attacking the disabled with the new disability benefit plans.
It was announced today that the controversial Disability Living Allowance (DLA), for people with a health condition or disability that are aged 16 to 64, will be extended.
The government insist the current benefit is outdated, and the new plans ensure the right people are getting the right support they need.
ITV News reporter Sejal Karia reports:
A new system of benefit payments affecting disabled people has started rolling out across Britain today. Daybreak's Gargy Patel reports:
The government will today expand their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people with a health condition or disability, and are aged 16 to 64.
Mencap's Dan Scorer has told ITV Daybreak that "people are very worried about losing their benefits."
As major changes to disability benefits is extended today, a poll conducted by ComRes for ITV News in April revealed that the British public is deeply divided over the reforms:
- Two in five (41%) of the British public support the changes
- one in three (36%) oppose them
- one in four (23%) are undecided