A report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has discovered one-quarter of the agencies that provide care to older adults in their homes do not meet quality and safety standards.
The investigation found that 26 per cent of domiciliary care providers did not meet criteria designed to ensure those in need are being looked after properly.
According to the CQC, delays and cancellations of visits are commonplace, leaving many people "resigned to accepting a level of unreliability within the service".
Inspectors also highlighted concerns regarding a lack of support for staff, poor planning of care services and a shortage of continuity among care workers.
David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, said: "People have a right to expect to be treated as an individual, to be able to exercise choice and to make sure their carers are aware of their specific care needs."
Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes stated the "patchy quality" of home care is meaning some older adults are not being treated with dignity.
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