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Working as a care worker, what it's really like

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I recently began working as a care worker and perhaps naively, I thought I could help vunerable members of the public and put something back into the community whilst earning a living.  More fool me!  The reality is as if someone has opened a window into some terrible bedlam.  Poor care, often dangerously bad 'care' being provided by poorly trained, mainly foreign nationals working in awful conditions.

Carers are expected to go to maybe 10 clients a day, all over the place often two bus journeys between them, working days that start at 6.50am and often don't finish often until after 11.30pm at night.  You get no set break times and without any allowance for travel time.  The only way to catch up is by cutting visits short to get to the next client on time - the agency know all about this and depend on carers cutting corners.

With only two days of training in an office setting I was sent out to provide care for clients with double incontinence, asked to use hoists and aids which I had only seen once.  After finishing on a Sunday night at around midnight, I got a phone call the next morning at 8am telling me I had missed a client.  I told the person from the agency my work schedule didn't have me working that day - she said I should have checked my emails as they had changed my hours while I was out working. 

Care worker I couldn't believe they had done this without bothering to phone me and let me know!  I told her I understood there should be at least 11 hours break between shifts anyway and she hung up the phone on me!  That to me just says it all about so-called 'care' agencies.

...this actually works out at less than the minimum wage

These are only a few of the instances of bad practice I have witnessed, I could list lots more and I've only been working for this agency less than a week!  I understand they get paid 15 per hour from the NHS to provide this service and this agency pays 6.50 to the care worker.  However, this actually works out at less than the minimum wage if you consider the cost of travel time and expenses for petrol, bus fare etc.

Why isn't this being investigated?  It's this exploitation of the worst kind?  I believe that there are accidents all over the country waiting to happen if this situation is not addressed.  This state of affairs in the care industry needs to be exposed.  I intend to go to the Care Commission as soon as I find another job.  There is no way I will stay in this sector - Dickens himself would have had a field day writing about so called home care, I can guarantee that!

By: Shocked Edinburgh


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pauleyx

pauleyx

I have worked on and off in care for years and I really don't know why I bother staff are treated beneath contempt and no wonder people walking away fast!! People in minor management see their job as a prize not a responsibility just means they don't have to clean up shit anymore whilst rubbing everyone else's nose in it as well as bullying them into the bargain. It really does attract some scum sucking lowlifes who's only control or power comes with minor management title in care where they can just lord it over others there to do as best job possible
12/02 pauleyx
1
Anon

Anon

You were in home care then. Please, please don’t go into residential care, it’s even worse. The CQC won’t care unless there’s actual proof of abuse or neglect to clients.

They know what goes on and have heard it a thousand times before. Walk away and if you do want to make a difference stay away from privatized care and do a nursing degree or diploma instead.
31/10 Anon
2
strawheart

strawheart

Totally agree, agencies are out to make the most money they greedily can. Care/nursing homes, just as bad. Dangerous practices and cutting corners. Awful.
15/01/19 strawheart
4
bot

bot

Don't do it it is the crappiest of crap jobs!
09/08/17 bot
5
jo yo

jo yo

yes I agree with all that you have said, and it is just the same working in a residential home or nursing home, the government do not seem to care any more, the pay scale for a care support worker is absolutly rubbish, no wonder over 900 carers a day worked out of their jobs last year, the way social care is going in the uk, there will be noone applying for positions as carers
17/04/17 jo yo
3
Sarah J L

Sarah J L

I live in a residential care home. And the manager of the care home, and her daughter, are complete arseholes. That's the politest way I could describe them. They treat us residents as if we're dog crap on the bottom of their shoe's. The manager is always flicking her hair behind her shoulders. She shouldn't be running a care home. She's only interested in filing her nails, being nosy, and bossing residents around. She looks down her nose at us. So we look down our noses right back at her. She has the image of a sexy secretary. Yuck. She must be disillusioned, thinking she's on the catwalk, when she should wake up and realise she's in a care home. My mate Andy is so right when he says "You just can't get the staff these days". She disgusts me. I'm pretty sure that there's many other care managers like this. The awful reality of it is, the managers don't give a damn, as long as their raking in the money. It's all front, when she takes us to live concerts or to meals out. You just know that she won't be smiling at us the same way, once we get back to the care home. She should be schizophrenic, given how she switches.
06/09/16 Sarah J L
7
Billy Wright

Billy Wright

There is a very wide spectrum of people who do this type of work from those who are genuinely into it for all the right reasons , to those who can't do anything else and use the job as a free warm (talking about supported living services)

I think families have to take some responsibility here too. On so many occasions I have seen families just expect paid support to take all the responsibility, while the person who needs support has little to no family involvement, well they may manage the persons finances. If something went spectacularly wrong, they would be straight on Panarama, in tears for a person they had seen for an hour in the last five years. Think the area of natural support is not discussed enough and a lot of families are put on pedestals because they have a family member in need, but make no contribution to that family members wellbeing. My opinion is that the people that do the actual work, regardless of skills or values are treat appallingly by everyone involved in not doing anything practical to help people.

I speak to lots of people in this industry and ask the question ""why do you care" most if not all the honest answers are eye opening
08/05/16 Billy Wright
5
Regards

Regards

3/10/15
I feel your pain could I direct you to an ebook that could help ease the pain.
This should help equip the care worker to have authority in their chosen vocation.
Regards
BASIC TIPS ON BEING A CARE WORKER CARING FOR ADULTS [Kindle Edition]
J.Emily Gould (Author)
4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Kindle Price: £1.99
03/10/15 Regards
-3
anonymous

anonymous

I completly agree with this. care is an industry where the good hard working people who are actually out there providing the service are treat very unvalued. And without good hard working carers the agencies wouldn't have a buissness to coordinate in the first place. I think care workers of all kinds should be treat with enourmas value. Which they are not.
28/08/14 anonymous
2
Maddy

Maddy

Hi I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE CARERS. I'm a client and I've witnessed how care agencies treat their own staff! I think it's an outraged! I have a few really nice carers come out to me and I always offer a carer a cuppa. I got told I wasn't allowed to do this my the company and the carers got told off like children. I said it's my house and I decide who can have a cuppa. The company wasn't happy and changed my carers around. I don't like it when carers get changed around. A carer was working 53 hours a week night and day shift and she turned up at mine one day and she couldn't hardly stand and she looked white and drained. She sat on the sofa and she couldn't keep her eyes open. I think it's disgusting the way carers get treated and I don't mind as a client backing you all up. Something needs to be done because the company and social workers don't give a dam and carers and clients are suffering.
23/04/14 Maddy
5
melly666

melly666

Yes it's been like this for a long long time! Community carers are worn to the bone. There also needs to be some control on these agencies on what they're charging the clients, paying the carer and their fees. I have been saying this for a long time. I have been in live in care for nearly 8 years. It's a similar scenario. Carers work 7 days a week, working or/and on standby for 22 hours a day. We get 2 hours of our own if lucky! I've been in situations when I am looking after 2 clients, physically working from 7am to midnight with a 2 hour break at some point then had 5 night calls a night!! It's a disgrace! Then we are expected to keep health and safety with the manual handling and penalised if we make a mistake! Our hourly rate works out on average at £2.50 before deductions! We are now getting a pay cut on top of this to add insult to injury. There really needs to be some control with this!! I do understand with the social care cuts that clients are struggling to pay for carers but we cannot subsidise them financially and with our own health at stake!
13/03/14 melly666
1
concerned

concerned

The so called Clacton Family Trust are about as trustable as a rattle snake , they also own the resource centre at weely the place is just set up to rip off the disabled for as much of there money as possible same builder owner same profiteer.
20/01/14 concerned
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nice girl

nice girl

Yer I worked at this place clactonfamilytrust as well, as a team leader about 5 years ago, I left because of the financial fraud going on basically a builder owns it and has no interest in venerable peoples welfare just massive profits.
17/01/14 nice girl
20
Helen

Helen

These agencies are exploiting care assistants shamefully.

This needs to be highlighted and exposed. We all hope to get old some day, but I'd rather take a suicide pill than put up with what passes for 'care' in some agencies.
04/12/13 Helen
3
Dudette

Dudette

I would like to add to my previous post that apart from all these issues I actually love my job. I did know the pay was not brilliant but did not know that travel expenses was not included! But again I love my job just the company I work for is a lot to be desired.
17/11/13 Dudette
0

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