Britain is facing a "crisis" in the care system and workers have warned of a possible "collapse", a union has warned.
A dossier drawn up by Unison revealed illegally low pay rates, widespread use of zero-hours contracts, poor training standards and "damaging consequences" of privatisation.
Homecare workers also questioned the system of 15-minute visits to the sick and elderly, which is often even less if they are delayed by traffic jams. The union has written to the new Care Minister, Alistair Burt, calling for a meeting to discuss issues ranging from the pay and conditions of care workers to the safety of people who rely on the service. The report, 15 Minutes Of Shame, details first-hand experiences of care workers in England and Wales, including one who visits a man in his mid-nineties.
Most of the workers quoted in the report say they do not have enough time to offer proper care, and many reveal they are not paid for the time they spend travelling.
The report, released at Unison's annual conference in Glasgow, quotes a care worker saying the service is at a crossroads, and was "collapsing all around us".
A survey of more than 1,000 homecare workers by Unison showed that a quarter who administer medication received no training. Most cared for people with dementia, but more than one in four had received no training in how to deal with the illness.