Severe staff shortages in residential care homes are denying elderly people the most basic levels of care, according to a survey of care workers.
The survey, conducted by Unison, found 83% of care workers said they are being forced to compromise the dignity of the people they are looking after due to their workload.
More than a quarter of those surveyed said they are often too busy to take people to the toilet, with 32% saying there is not enough time to help them wash their hair.
The majority (83%) said they were unable to have a quick chat with residents or take them outside for some fresh air.
The survey also revealed 27% of care workers said they were being forced to ration equipment such as wheelchairs, wet wipes, gloves, continence pads and hoists due to budget cuts.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘The care system is failing the elderly and the vulnerable – and those staff struggling to provide the best support possible.
‘Significant change needs to happen if respect and dignity are to be restored and standards improved in care homes.’
The trade union is urging councils to adopt its new residential care charter to help raise levels of care.