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Life Experience

UK Care Crisis deepens – brilliantly explored in BBC programmes with Ed Balls

A care worker in the BBC programme

Crisis is not too strong a word to apply to care of the elderly in care homes and those living in their own homes with care assistance. Currently a million people are suffering with dementia in the UK and numbers are increasing.

Today’s move (11 November) by the government to require all care home staff to be double vaccinated against Covid will mean a further exodus of staff from a desperately struggling service.

In the first of two programmes Ed Balls, former government minister, goes to live and work for a fortnight as a carer in a care home in Scarborough. Beyond doubt the staff are dedicated, working in a physically and emotionally stressful situation and are close to exhaustion because of staffing shortages. They are paid a very low wage and feel undervalued. The finances of the care home in the programme are on a knife edge.

What can be done? If a care home closes where will the helpless and desperately needy patients go? The situation, replicated in thousands of care homes across the country, urgently needs answers.

You can see this first programme on BBC I-player and the second programme is next Monday, 15 November 2021 at 9 pm on BBC2.

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David Roberts

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Born in 1942, I now have time to enjoy life more widely and reflect on my experience, interests, and contemporary events.

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