Claire Sweeney fronts union spoof bashing 15-minute care home visits

Claire Sweeney has reprised her 60 Minute Makeover presenting role in a hard-hitting satirical film for trade union Unison highlighting the indignity suffered by elderly people because of 15-minute care visits.

The two-minute video, created by content specialists Don’t Panic, aims to show how council cutbacks are bringing about rushed appointments that do not give staff enough time to care properly during home visits.

The "15-minute care makeover" film shows Sweeney presenting a TV challenge in which a nurse tries to care for an older man by washing him, making him breakfast and organising his medication, in vain. 

Sweeney is impervious to the nurse’s resentment at being forced to rush through the care visit and the man is left sitting on his bed after the nurse has left looking bereft.

The video is launched as nearly two-thirds (65%) of councils in England and Wales are commissioning 15-minute care visits, according to figures from the union. The findings are based on responses from more than 150 local authorities and include visits for handing out medication and for welfare checks.

The ad was created by Alistair Griggs at Don’t Panic and directed by duo A Very Successful Business (Adam Morley and Dulcie Cowling) through Bootleg Films.

Sweeney, who achieved fame in the 90s by appearing in Channel 4 soap Brookside, presented 60 Minute Makeover between 2004 and 2006. Singer Peter Andre has presented the show since 2013.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "This film highlights the human indignity thousands of vulnerable and elderly people across Britain face. A care worker is often the only face people see. It sends a powerful message of the absurdity of giving care workers just fifteen minutes to support people.

"A 15-minute visit is not enough time to get people showered, dressed and fed. However, government cuts to council care budgets mean this is the reality for many. Care workers just want to care but they’re forced to rush visits. Ministers must act now and invest properly in social care."