Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/926/23980

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2016

"I don't always feel that I'm a carer anymore" - a day in the life

photo Chris Marchant (Creative Commons)

photo Chris Marchant (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

A care worker, almost anywhere in England

On 12-13 November I attended Socialism 2016. I have been to this event before but never felt the need to say anything. However this time I could not keep quiet. I have worked in healthcare for many years, mainly in nursing homes.

I love my job, but things have changed. The home where I am now employed is run by a private company which appears to put profit before the safety and well-being of both staff and residents.

The company does not pay sick pay, so when we had an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting last year, which affected many of the staff, we had to take time off for which we didn't get paid. I lost a week's pay. I know of others who came to work ill as they could not afford to lose this money. The reason given by the company for not paying sick pay was that they think it will encourage people to take time off!

They have also said they had been considering introducing sick pay but then had to pay the minimum wage which was costing them 2 million (the company made over 20 million in profit last year).

As the staff representative, I have asked why we cannot get paid a little more when we are short staffed and was told that if they did, it would encourage us to work understaffed. In practice this happens on a regular basis as they do not recruit agency staff. I do not know any member of staff who would put money above the safety and well-being of the people in our care.

What this policy means is that staffing numbers are calculated on the basis of funding, not the needs of the residents, which the company claims is its prime objective. This policy also means that people who are in the last stages of their lives are left on their own as there is nobody free to sit with them. People who cannot help themselves are hurried with food and drinks.

Profit before care means that residents who have an incontinence problem are only given three pads a day by the NHS (the home is meant to give more). This means one in the morning, one before going to bed and one in the night. Often this is not enough and we regularly have to take pads from other people or keep the pad on longer than is hygienic. Where is the dignity for our residents in that!

I once saw an ad that said you could make 1 million from owning a care home and yes maybe by putting profit first you can, but that's not care.

I love my job but with more and more responsibility put on us and fewer and fewer staff, I don't always feel that I'm a carer anymore, but just the person who hurries to get your mum or dad up, washed, dressed and given breakfast in the 25 minute slot allotted. Where is the care in that?

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 November 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cash for rich and royals, cuts for the 99%

Tories drop 'pay to stay'

Tories plan pain with Brexit Autumn Statement

3.5bn on temporary housing for councils

'Just about managing': 2,500 worse off by 2020

Job figures mask casualisation

What We Saw


What we think

The Socialist Party and support for the Corbyn movement


Socialist Students

Fight back to save education!

Campaigning Socialist Students groups needed to hold student unions to account


N30 strike: five years on

Lessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike: when workers showed their power


International socialist news and analysis

USA: mass protests break out to #ResistTrump

Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment - fight for abortion rights

Spain: Students' Union surges forward in historic congress

Hundreds rally to celebrate anniversary of Students' Union and Izquierda Revolucionaria

UN climate change summit: more hot air from Marrakech


Workplace news and analysis

"I don't always feel that I'm a carer anymore" - a day in the life

Southern Rail Strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Reselection motion passed at Labour Party branch

Packed-out Socialist Party meetings hear American socialist and Black Lives Matter activist

School talk on the struggle for the vote and its importance today


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

The Socialist inbox

"I can't stop thinking about Socialism 2016 - it was truly brilliant"

Socialism 2016: what you thought


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 November 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Care worker:

triangleNo to home seizures for care bills

triangleHaringey care services face ruthless cuts and privatisation

triangleWomen lose out in the workplace

triangleCare services under threat

triangleReverse social care sell-offs

Pay:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleStop the student loan sell-off - scrap all fees

triangleArgos fails to pay staff minimum wage - taxman cuts fine in half!

Profit:

triangleHealth cuts responsible for rise in deaths - reverse all austerity now

Homes:

triangleWhat we saw

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Healthcare:

triangleSupport the NHS? Join the march!

Minimum wage:

triangle30% of people on inadequate incomes in UK

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

22/2/17

Obituary

Obituary: John Pickett - 1954-2017

22/2/17

Review

Web series review: Cooked - "How capitalism ruined eating"

22/2/17

Retail

Organise to reverse 28% rise in violence against retail workers

22/2/17

Local government

Worried about fake news? Start with Labour councils' budget lies

22/2/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

15/2/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/2/17

Review

Vivid visual account of the Paris Commune

15/2/17

Foreign Aid

Foreign aid's not the problem - it's capitalist thieves

15/2/17

Russian revolution

No, Trumpism is nothing like Leninism

8/2/17

Arts

Smearing socialism by attacking the arts

8/2/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

8/2/17

Review

Tense, lively prologue to events which changed the world

8/2/17

RMT

Southern dispute: disappointment and anger - RMT president responds

7/2/17

Liverpool

Housing: Irresponsibility becomes reality

3/2/17

Parliament

Response to Derek Hatton's criticism of Corbyn over Brexit vote

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle22 Feb Support the NHS? Join the march!

triangle22 Feb Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

triangle22 Feb February revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?

triangle21 Feb Dublin: #JobstownNotGuilty

triangle17 Feb Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

triangle16 Feb Aslef members reject Southern deal - now for coordinated action to...

triangle15 Feb Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence

More ...

triangle22 Feb Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The fight against Trump

triangle22 Feb Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Russia's February 1917 revolution

triangle23 Feb North London Socialist Party: Russia's February 1917 revolution

triangle23 Feb East London Socialist Party: The 1917 February Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice