Care Workers Deserve More Support
Following his visit to local homecare company, MSS Care, West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has pledged to give his support to care workers across the homecare, residential care and hospital sectors and to support the introduction of a care worker register and improved professional status for care workers.
Mr George has visited a number of homecare companies operating in his constituency over the last 18 months and is impressed with the commitment of all of those he has met, including Martin Support Services Ltd based at St Keverne, who he met yesterday. There he met Richard Martin, Director of Business Development, Laura Palmer, Care Manager and Acting Team Leader, Michelle Jarman.
Mr George said: “There are fewer hospital beds but older and sicker patients and plans for further cuts in hospital beds, earlier patient discharge and a drive to avoid ‘unnecessary’ admissions. Coupled with the drive for further efficiency savings in the NHS, the pressure is growing on the lowest paid to do more.
“Homecare workers often do the work which many others wouldn’t be prepared to do, and certainly not for the wage they get. That is why I support the efforts of those companies, like MSS Care, to ensure that they at the very least pay a ‘living wage’ and ensure that they give their staff adequate time to do the job properly. The pressure on some homecare workers to work for less and to do the impossible within an unfeasible timetable is now becoming overwhelming.
“That’s why it is important that homecare companies stand their ground and make clear that they will not put up with pressures which can only result in unsafe standards and unacceptable risk taking.”
Mr George will be taking up the concern of care workers and homecare companies with Government Ministers and the local authority.
Amongst the comments which Mr George received during his visit to St Keverne and Mullion to shadow the work of homecare workers were:
Carer Kim said: “Carers are not recognised as professionals and do not get the appreciation for the work they do. MSS Care give plenty of time with each client and travel time between clients is paid so we never feel rushed or pushed for time.”
Senior Carer Michelle said: “Community care gives the service user the chance to be at home and fulfil their wishes and any preferences they may have. The support from other agencies is not always in place when we start care. We are left to pick up the pieces.”
MSS Care Director, Richard Martin, said: “Local authority rates for visits of less than an hour long are not economical. The only way care can be provided profitably is to cut corners which puts vulnerable people at risk. This is unacceptable. We also believe that efficiencies can be gained by streamlining regulation. The Care Quality Commission and the local authority duplicate their monitoring of standards, safety and business viability. This adds cost both to the businesses and to the tax payer. This whole sector needs a rethink and the status of care workers should be enhanced.”
Take Andrew George MP’s 2013 survey here, and let him know your views on the NHS, paying for care, regional pay and other matters. You could win a hamper from the House of Commons shop too.