This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Care worker support thread.(26 Posts)
Thought I'd start a support group for the Care sector. People who work in Care Homes or are community carers.
NHS community worker here wondering what will happen if this ramps up.
Me too, quite a worry. We cant not go to work, what would happen to our patients/residents. We are always short staffed as it is(care home) and we have a lot of staff who work here from different countries who regularly travel all over the world.
Feeling like we haven't had much support from the Trust.
I work on the staff bank for NHS and I've noticed an increase in the shifts available across different hospitals in the area. Dunno if it's a coincidence or not.
I do rehabilitation work in the community and am wondering if further guidance will come in soon.
Support worker in a small 5 bed care home.
Worried about having to isolate. If I have to stay at work I'll be away from my DC. If I have to stay at home I'll be worrying about my guys at work.
Either way it'll be horrendous.
I work both in the hospital and community. I haven't had much support so far. I'm really concerned with working with vulnerable elderly patients, some medications are immune suppressant thus making them even more vulnerable
Let's try and support each other on here.
Community carer here. The company I work for sent a letter yesterday that didn’t really say much other then what is out in the media except that if we need to self isolate then we would receive ssp so long as we provide a medical certificate.
I worry about my service users and colleagues. The amount of work they keep trying to force on me means I’m already on my knees and I just don’t see how we will all cope if the predicted 20% off happens
Agreed, worrying prospect. If we end up with case in the home, I'm wondering would care staff have to stay there?? I wouldn't be able to leave the children. I thought the care homes may have closed to visitors by now.
I'm an unpaid carer for my adult DS but we also have community care and respite care for him. I would like to say thank you to all who are carers and that I hope you all stay safe from these nasty illnesses that are going around.
I'd like to second INeedToGetHealthy's appreciation of all you carers out there.
What lovely things to say, thank you xx
Community carer here , fab idea .Trying not to worry to much .Want all my service users and fellows carers to stay safe .I work for fantastic boss who has a plan in place if needs be but hoping it won't be needed .
I work in a home for people with advanced dementia and this is causing me a great deal of anxiety. Management have not been particularly supportive or forthcoming with plans/procedures should the worst come to pass.
We've just been told our rota is changing, 7 days on and then 7 days off. I hope we can keep our vulnerable ladies and gents safe with this new change.
I'm just sitting here thinking about all the people who have looked down on us care staff over the years (including senior staff at my company, private, not NHS) and now low and behold we're so very important and everyone's up our arses.
It would have been nice to have been given the same amount of respect and consideration during my whole career as a carer mind you.. we went from the bottom of the pile to the top in a matter of weeks and it means fuck all. We'll all crack on and do what needs to be done because we love it and we're damn good at it.
Same as people who work in shops, drive buses etc. I hope now this will cause a shift in people's thinking for the future and the general public will stop looking down their noses at us. That still remains to be seen.
For now, I'm back at work today after a 14 hour shift yesterday and then I finish tomorrow afternoon. Fighting through, as always.
There’s an opinion piece highlighting the risks for Carers and care homes, and how Carers are undervalued, in the observer. This doesn’t seem to have been something massively raised currently by other journalists, or the public, which is very sad...
The British are dying in “care” homes across the country without saying goodbye to their families. The government said goodbye to goodbyes on 13 March when it ordered care home providers to “stop all visits to residents from friends and family”.
Helen Wildbore, whose charity, The Relatives & Residents Association, represents the families of elderly people, talks of their acute distress as children and partners disappear from their lives. Some with dementia will only eat and wash when a husband, wife or child is with them. And now they’ve gone.
Few outsiders care about the care services. Residential and nursing homes, and the army of harassed women who go from door to door looking after 350,000 people, are as neglected as the prisons, another Cinderella service that could be ravaged by the virus. Britain is a gambling nation. It gambled that it could neglect social care, just as it gambled that it could manage with fewer doctors and hospital beds than most of the developed world, gambled that it could postpone a lockdown and the mass production of testing kits and protective gear and gambled it could get away with putting an after-dinner funster from the comedy corner of the Telegraph’s comment pages in Downing Street.
Millions gather at their windows to applaud the frontline staff fighting the virus. The organisers say they are clapping “healthcare workers, emergency services, armed services, delivery drivers, shop workers, teachers” and so on, through to vets. Nowhere are home and residential care staff mentioned.
So what, some might say. Banning visits is a necessary measure to contain the danger. It might be if the rest of the care system were not a lethal trap. Stories of the army finding the dead abandoned in their beds that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end have come out of Spanish old people’s homes. We’re not there, but no one should be surprised if the system buckled. It could barely cope before.
Compare it with the NHS and you see why social care is an unexploded bomb. We need care workers but we have treated them with contempt. There is no job security for large numbers of workers on zero-hours contracts. Staff turnover is rapid, vacancy rates are high and average hourly pay rates are below those of supermarket workers. We’ve dumped the elderly on a workforce, which has an alarming proportion of staff with no relevant social care qualification. “The point has arguably been reached,” the Centre for Health and the Public Interest thinktank concluded, “where it is no longer a feasible ambition for a care worker to acquire skills and pursue a stable career.” Indeed not. The pay differential between care workers with less than one year’s experience and those with more than 20 is 15p an hour.
When cowed workers meet a global crisis, the result is dire. Care workers are cannon fodder. Despite government promises, they are telling their union, Unison, that they have not received the kit they need to safeguard elderly clients in the highest of high-risk groups, and indeed themselves and their families. Workers on zero-hours contracts who don’t turn up don’t get paid. Unison’s Gavin Edwards tells me that the pressure on staff cannot be imagined by people with secure employment in the NHS and other workplaces governed by proper procedures and union agreements. Union members tell of pushy employers who don’t give a damn about the dangers. Managers were suggesting “we take our children in if we can’t find childcare,” said one.
When cowed workers meet a global crisis, the result is predictably dire. Care workers are cannon fodder
Meanwhile, their employers are demonstrating that we do not have a national care service to match the NHS. They are refusing to take patients who might have the virus. You see their point. It is impossible to maintain social distancing with confused older people. But this refusal illustrates a wider danger. There are 5,500 small companies running homes or providing domestic care workers to councils. Ministers cannot compel them to make best use of their beds or concentrate staff where they are most needed. If Britain had set out to design a care system less able to cope with a national emergency, it couldn’t have done a worse job.
Here we come to the final gamble. The chaotic state of social care for the elderly exists in a Britain dominated by older people. It’s almost a cliche for journalists and academics to say that, as life expectancy has risen, western countries have become gerontocracies. The voting power of the old dominates politics. It delivered Donald Trump, Brexit and Tory governments. When the Conservatives were acting with the utmost cruelty towards benefit claimants of working age, they didn’t dare touch pensioners’ benefits. They increased them, as they knew that age is now a stronger determinant of how voters vote than class. The 2017 general election reminded politicians they could never go against grey power. Theresa May refused to commit to the triple lock on pensions and said that pensioners who could afford it must pay for social care, just as graduates who can afford it must pay for a university education. The uproar forced May into an abject retreat and nearly lost her the election.
The gamble that older voters have taken is that they may not need social care and so shouldn’t be asked to pay extra. Or that if they hold out, Britain will fund it out of general taxation on the young and middle aged, who have already been loaded with vast debts that are growing every day that this crisis continues.
The result is a care “system” that isn’t a system and could be a virus super-spreader. As with so many other gambles Britain has taken, it looks as if the casino is ready to rake in the chips.
Senior Carer working nights, in a dementia unit. I am currently on 2 weeks annual leave and dont want to say it, not looking forward to going back.
Has anyone got cases of the virus in their home?
I’m a carer in a on a dementia unit, I’ve been off for two weeks due to having symptoms that turned into a chest infection. I’m back in on Saturday not looking forward to it
Suspected cases in the home I work in. Being isolated and barrier-nurses with inadequate (for covid) PPE especially with close contact such as assisting with meals and personal care. Some deaths. Only a matter of time before it spreads. No idea if the plan is to test these individuals.
But we are still taking non-tested admissions from hospital and community. Awesome.
Just add that new admissions are supposed to isolated for 7-14 days (keeps changing) but on a dementia unit (as pp have said) this is impossible.
Not to mention the reliance on (mostly very good) agency staff who go from nursing home to nursing home. A way to manage this would be ensure agency staff are working in the same nursing home, solely. Same for community carers-visit same clients only and have PPE!!!
Join the discussion
Please login first.