Letter: Value the skills of care workers

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In response to your Behind the Headlines special report ‘Crisis in care as services reach tipping point’ (Advertiser, December 8). My background is in social care and I have worked in both direct care, training and management. I agree strongly with the initial early concerns about the reforms and in particular the worries around recruiting staff.

As I see it the overall perception of caring as a career has changed over the years and it is no longer a profession anyone is encouraged to follow.

The only people who apply for the positions are those who cannot find work in any other areas and those who have been told at school they would be good at care work (usually because they would be unsuitable for further academic education). When I first started working in the care industry care workers and nurses were seen as “worth their weight in gold” - it shocks me that as a society we no longer value the skills required to be a good care professional - these relationship building skills such as empathy, active listening and a good disposition and personality are in short supply in the care industry today, and that is because these skills are no longer valued.

The job is hard, long unsocial hours combined with difficult cases often leads to stress and illness - without feeling valued and without any status, why on earth would you do the job?!

Until caring is acknowledged as highly skilled profession and valued both in monetary reward and professional status, we will continue to see the downturn in retaining good reliable skilled care workers.

As you can tell I feel passionately about this and would be interested in what other readers feel.

Nicki Powell

Staveley