The reality of the carers crisis

Reposted from the Daily Record

My theory for the lack of carers is because they are actually paid below National Minimum Wage (NMW). How it works is like this, the agency don’t pay  for the travel costs incurred between clients, so that means the carer has to fund those costs out of their own pocket, which brings their hourly rate below NMW. Personally,I think that if the costs are incurred wholly, necessarily and exclusively in the performance of the duties of employment and are obliged to be incurred (Section 336 Income Tax Earnings & Pension Act 2003) then the agency should reimburse them.

Kathleen Ward broke her back after tripping on kerb stone

A WOMAN who broke her back tripping on a broken kerb is trapped in hospital because
a council won’t fund care for her at home.

Kathleen Ward, who has learning difficulties, was told she will never walk again after the accident.

Her family blame Fife Council for the fall because they say they should have fixed the kerb.

And to add insult to injury, they have been told Kathleen cannot go home because the authority won’t pay for additional carers.

The 55-year-old’s sister Esther said they were having to make a 100-mile round trip from Fife to see Kathleen at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital.

Esther added: “My worst fear is that she could be permanently stuck in hospital or they might move her somewhere else.”

Kathleen, from Dunfermline, fell as she walked to a sister’s house in Crosshill on March 8.

Esther said: “There was a massive bit missing out the kerb which she didn’t see and went right down on to the road.

“Her back is broken in three places. “

Esther said doctors cleared Kathleen to go home three weeks ago.

But social workers said it would be at least another three weeks before her case is considered.

Esther said Kathleen already has carers because of her learning difficulties. But her needs have changed dramatically since the fall and extra help is required.

She added: “Her social worker said she has to wait at least another three weeks and they’ll have another meeting.”

“I spoke to her boss, who said, ‘There are other people we need to look after. We don’t have money for everybody’.”

The Daily Record asked Fife Council to comment on Kathleen’s case. They did not get back to us.

Recruitment crisis keeps Debbie on ward

KATHLEEN’S ordeal comes less than two weeks after the Record told of the plight of amputee Debbie Michie .

Debbie, who had her leg amputated, has been trapped in hospital for three months because of a carers shortage.

She is recovered from surgery and desperate to go home. But she cannot be discharged because a recruitment crisis means there are not enough carers to provide the four daily home visits she needs.

Debbie, 61, had her right leg amputated at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness last September.

A few weeks later, she was transferred to the Ian Charles Hospital in Grantown-on-Spey.

By April, she was ready to be discharged. But a home after-care package proved impossible to arrange.

Debbie, from Nethy Bridge, said: “I’m one of five people in here given a delayed departure because there are not enough carers to help when you go home.

“It’s not a funding problem, it’s a lack of carers.They need to look at why people are not wanting to be carers. It must be the hours or wages.”

Helen Townsend, Service Manager Adult Services (West) said:  “We are very aware of Kathleen’s circumstance and we are doing all we can to ensure that Kathleen has the level of support she requires to allow her to be discharged from hospital.  Kathleen’s social worker will continue to liaise with Kathleen and her family throughout this time until she can be discharged to her home.”

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7 Responses to The reality of the carers crisis

  1. sdbast says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

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  2. Quite right. And how did this situation come about? The carer is being treated as if she was doing piecework. It is ridiculous. Would firemen or the police accept being paid in this way – they only get paid for the time they are actually attending a job.

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  3. stilloaks says:

    Reblogged this on Still Oaks.

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  4. loobitzh says:

    the way I found it to work, as does my sister, is that many care companies (when they employ you onto their staff), often give you a set working timetable for the week, ie who you have to go care for and times allocated but they do not pay the carer for the travel time or travel expenses in between clients even though many carers work full time so visit many clients each day. So the To add insult to injury, the travel time given by the companies is often wholly inadequate meaning that often carers have to either cut short visits, in order to meet their next client in time. So in 30minutes for example a carer has to
    arrive at client, toilet, cook dinner, wash up, medicate, (no time for showing you care) in 20 mins. However, in order to make it to the next client, the carer will either have to arrive late, messing up the days schedule, or cut clients visits short.

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    • The travelling time element is a problem loobitzh, but as far as the travel expenses go ALL of it should be reimbursed as it is “official” travel (as opposed to home to work) so you won’t get your first journey paid for (to work) or your last (from work)
      If your employer won’t reimburse these costs, then ring your tax office on 0300 200 3300 and ask for form P80 (expenses claim form) complete the form giving details of mileage travelled on business and fuel costs and send it to the tax office and they will reimburse you those costs.

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