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"My Mum (my Nan)"

About: Springwood

(as a relative),

My Dad's mum (my Nan) has been in Springwood care home in Sheffield for the past three years. The staff at the care home are fantastic and really seem to go the extra mile to care for my Nan and the other residents. One day I heard one of the staff, Tracy, talking to my nan as they were bathing her. Tracy was lovely with her and so caring and sensitive - I can't imagine it's easy to bathe a grown person. Tears came to my eyes, I was touched by the care and respect demonstrated. No one knew I was close to the bathroom door and could overhear what was being said, this wasn't a demonstration put on for my benefit.

So why are we concerned? The headlines over the past months have been filled with stories of MPs and the generous expenses they have been allowed to claim. At the same time, local newspapers are filled with stories of Council workers pay being changed. We are worried that morale of care workers who carry out difficult and challenging work with care, sensitivity, respect, empathy and utter professionalism will decline as pay cut loom.

So often it is those people, like carers, who work long unsociable hours at 'the coal face' yet receive a relatively poor financial return for the demanding job they do. We hope that the council recognise this and pay staff a good rate to keep staff like Tracy looking after people like my Nan.


Response from Anita Bland, Registered Manager, SheffCare Limited 11 years ago
Anita Bland
Registered Manager,
SheffCare Limited
Submitted on 27/10/2009 at 15:27
Published on Care Opinion at 00:00

Dear Joey,

Thank you for sharing that touching moment which you found both comforting and concerning. What you experienced between Tracy and your Nan is the essence for which we constantly strive at Springwood. But when we witness good quality care in this or any care home, it should not come as a shock, as something exceptional. Unfortunately it too often does. Truly caring moments of good practice are a testament to the many people like Tracy who enter this work for all the right reasons. I agree with you, that good carers are to be nurtured and rewarded, for there is no greater calling than to care for each other. Ironically, there is little correlation in today’s world between the human value and the monetary value of work – in particular, as you rightly say, at ‘the coal face’. It is questionable how much of the larger monetary system we can change (that of MPs salaries, benefits and expenses that you mentioned). But in care practice I believe the system can and must change for the following reason. Your words are part of a groundswell of discontent with the current situation, where those who provide hands-on care, and spend their days in constant contact with those residents and families who are paying for the service, are poorly compensated considering the importance of the work they do. The more vocal customers like yourself become, the sooner the system will change. Ideally, staff would be hand-picked for the heart and soul they bring to the job and rewarded to the level they deserve. Such a system would improve the quality of care radically, and encourage naturally caring individuals to enter the profession. Your words have contributed to that growing voice of what I see as ‘back to the basics of caring’, for which many Nans all over England thank you.

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