Social Care

I see there was another state of emergency declared in a local hospital yesterday and more are expected during the hot weather.

Obviously social care needs more investment because the lack of it is blocking up our hospitals with people who are medically fit for discharge but not safe to go home without care.

It was a mistake in my mind to ever separate health from social care as the two are clearly so co dependent. And it was definitely a mistake to allow business to take over social care in a quest for profit.

The staff shortages are desperate. It’s difficult work to look after elderly , disabled and mentally unstable people. Staff are dealing with a lot of incontinence, frailty, challenging behaviour and death. The job requires courage, skill, kindness, empathy ,patience and stamina. It must be the most under appreciated role in the workplace and the pay is impossible to live on.

I think until the role of the carer is given its true value our society will always be in trouble because it demonstrates we haven’t got our priorities right.

And what makes me really angry is when carers are squeezed and blamed and pushed to do more by stressed managers under pressure to please share holders.

Care is dependent on a caring relationship between the client and staff member. If staff feel exploited, over worked and under valued obviously standards of care will deteriorate and staff will leave.

It should be obvious ! Pay carers a decent wage and value what they do and create social conditions where it is pleasant to live and work. Avoid creating too much stress or blame, allow people to be human , encourage breaks, conversations, laughter. Relationships are very likely to improve, staff will stay and care will improve.

Caring for people can be such satisfying work if people are allowed to get on with it , shown some appreciation and given a decent wage. You can’t bully people into caring, it doesn’t work.

Author: Lucy Calcott

I write poetry, children's stories and the occasional article. I also love to paint and usually work in acrylic, water based crayon and charcoal. I am principally interested in an emotional or spiritual response to landscape so I am more focused on creating atmosphere than actual representation. I like figures too. In my writing I am searching for a contemporary religious female voice which is tolerant and open hearted . I have a MA in Creative Writing from Sussex University and have had poetry published in various journals. I also have a small collection of poems in print; Magdalene and other poems. I have exhibited paintings and poetry locally in Eastbourne and the surrounding area and with Christian Arts nationally. I am also a nurse and a mother of three grown up children. I long for a greener, more compassionate, unified world and am active in the interfaith movement.

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