Carers to be monitored by Cambridgeshire councils
Carers will be electronically monitored in Cambridgeshire to prevent appointments being missed or cut short.
The county council and Peterborough City Council are introducing a system where contracted agency carers would be required clock in and out.
The technology is intended to ensure care is "delivered as planned".
'They kept turning up late'
Robin Putnam, 46, from Peterborough, who cares full-time for his mother Elizabeth, 85, backed the proposal.
"At one point we had 10 different respite carers in 10 consecutive visits," he said.
"They kept turning up late and wanting to rush the job. On one occasion one turned up over 45 minutes late and still wanted to leave on time.
"They were trying to pack an hour's worth of work into 10 minutes."
Ms Putnam, who suffers from osteoporosis and has breathing and heart problems, added: "I never knew who was coming and what time they would arrive."
Mr Putnam has since started using carers from a different agency recommended by the city council.
"Most carers do a brilliant job, but monitoring them could help adult social care to keep control of them and could improve the whole situation because they could see if the agency is performing well," he said.
But Unison, which represents some carers, said monitoring could restrict "discretionary time" with clients.
A spokeswoman for the union said: "Most feedback we get about this kind of thing suggests that carers don't actually get enough discretionary time to be with the people who really need their help.
"This would put even greater pressure on their time."Missed visits
Peterborough City Council said the electronic monitoring would "provide accurate information on whether homecare is delivered" and "immediately highlight and evidence if calls are not delivered or are being cut short".
A spokesman said the government-recommended move would simplify invoicing, ensure care was "delivered as planned" and help ensure the safety of care workers.
Both councils said agencies would have to implement their own monitoring system as part of their contracts.
"Some systems require care workers to phone a freephone number when they arrive and when they leave a homecare visit," a city council spokesman said.
"This will then log that the visit has happened, the duration of the visit and which worker has delivered the care. Some use mobile technology instead."
Consumer organisation Which? recently asked 40 family carers to keep a diary of their experiences, including respite care provided by agency staff.
It documented instances of poor care, missed visits and a lack of continuity.
It concluded: "Fifteen-minute care visits must not become a 'one size fits all' approach to home care and local authorities should do more to commission person-centred services."