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 Care Campaign For The Vulnerable

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

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Who Cares For Our Carers... ? By A Care Home Worker

8th May 2020

WHO CARES FOR THE CARERS...?

How many carers are experiencing negative behaviour from managers over their own health issues and advised to isolate during this pandemic?

I have bad asthma and APS and although I did not get a doctors isolation letter my GP did advise i must fully isolate. The care home I worked in allowed visitors from a local hospital who had family residing with us despite assuring carers that our home was closed to outside visitors. We even received a letter to state we had no visitors in two weeks when we were allowing NHS staff from a covid infected hospital into the home. While other families of residents were banned, I and other staff with underlying health issues only agreed to stay at work if we were safe. Staff were told not to be diffucult and to just "get on with it". Carers were offered no furloughing and any abscence was treated as being AWOL. This led to some staff leaving employment because there were no full safety measures in place. The masks were given to visitors and not to staff so PPE was unavailable at the time several of us left. Talking to the manager about respiratory concerns, she said her husband was on inhalers and still worked so didn’t see the problem with the carers not working with underlining health concerns . Basically, dismissing the staffs health issues as not that important. I am on steroids for a lung problem and blood thinners for APS. I have high blood pressure and could not run the risk of catching Covid 19. My routine was home and work and that was it - yet the threat of this deadly virus was coming in from the hospital via visitors at our manager's discretion. Of course leaving work in a crisis my and other good carers reputation is now tarnished. The manager refuses to give me a reference and I feel depressed feeling guilt for just wanting to protect myself, my family as well as our vulnerable residents. Other workers who left also had heart issues and not long back at work after strokes. It seems the middle group of people have been forgotten by the Government. Too sick to fight off a virus but not sick enough to be off work. There are a lot of carers working under this mantel of non caring managers and care home leaders who have only the mindset of money , residents and the home's needs first above all else even at the expense of a carers' health or life. This was proved to many of my colleagues and myself that carers lives just don’t matter. Carers are replaceable, and only canon fodder with no rights and no support. Quite rightly there is so much emphasis on protecting our old but sadly no emphasis on those caring for them. It is almost slavery in the modern world. Poor pay, no respect and pushed to breaking point even when ill ourselves. I am at home now unemployed but safe. I felt ashamed in the beginning but know I have a duty to me and my family too and not just to managers who wouldn’t care if I ended up in a wooden box tomorrow. Good care workers continually give to others but in the end sadly, many are only used and abused then evidently replaced when worn out.

(Name and email available on request)

This is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of CCFTV

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Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

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