Care work is a career that you absolutely want to do, and those in your charge – the elderly, infirm, disabled, your relatives and neighbours, one day yourself, people who are by definition vulnerable – absolutely need the people tending to them to want to do it.
The oxymoronically titled New Conservatives, yet another extremist Tory cell like the Bruges Group, like the ERG, want to cut the number of dreaded foreigners coming to the UK to work in the care sector, and force local layabouts to earn their right to access foodbanks to do it instead (be in no doubt, this is the contempt that underpins the plan).
Replacing those who want to do a job with those who don’t
This is the Khmer Blukip that in the name of personal freedom and autonomy, actively replaces the people who want to do a job with people who don’t want to do it, reengineering society by the broadest of macros: Problem – foeigners; Solution – local layabouts. Led by 30p Lee Anderson, who in a cost-of-living crisis best helps his constituents by taking on a £100,000 pa job with GB News where he advocates eating catfood.
It’s a premise spawned of, and utterly riven with contempt, not just the xenophobia and fecklessness disdain towards those on hard times, but that working in care is a ‘low skilled’ job anyone can walk into, and that the elderly and infirm are deserving of this.
Not picking up on problems
No-one’s a saint, speed means haste. Staff run late. They become demoralised, ill, they’re redeployed, no longer caring so much as fire-fighting, miss work, are replaced by other temps who with the best will in the world don’t know the person in their charge, their needs, tics, how they communicate.
In the sheer blaze of frenetic activity, it’s not picked up on that the patient with dementia, with severe communication difficulties, is trying to convey an injury or pain. The second-degree scald suffered by the dementia patient who can’t express pain isn’t spotted, becomes infected.
The 12 minutes to be in and out cut to nine, all adding a fraction of a percent of brusqueness when assisting a frail patient with severe osteoporosis, or skin that tears like tissue paper. The missed meds. The badly fed meal.
And this is the reality in a sector already facing a staff shortfall of 165,000, where workers already are on minimum wage, paying for their own fuel, 12-hour shifts caning their circadian rhythms, yet the solution is workers who simply may not have the interest or skillset, even when trained, to do the job. With the best will in the world the scope for abuse, the frustration of the carer to build up and spill over, becomes inevitable. With bitter irony, affecting the aging demographic that tend to vote Tory the worst.
Tory Britain, eh?