Dignity for those in care! Introduce minimum staff to patient ratios in care homes!

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I got into elderly care a few years ago, after realising I wanted to do a job were I gave back to others. The older generation have given so much throughout their lives, and it only seems right they should be cared for and respected in return.

As soon as I started working as a dementia nurse I knew this was my calling. But almost just as quickly I discovered flaws in the system that stop me and the hard-working people I work with from providing adequate care. 

The biggest problem is understaffing. Far too often staff like myself are left responsible for ten or sometimes twenty vulnerable residents living with disabilities or dementia.

There are times I have had to cope, alone, with one person who needs help eating, another who has soiled themselves, and another who has hallucinated and walked off without their walking aid - and no one there to help me.

I have seen injuries happen that could so easily have been avoided if only there had been an appropriate number of staff. And I am not alone, in the UK this is a situation care workers are confronted with on a daily basis up and down the country.

This care shortage is happening because many care homes have been privatised and there are no laws in the UK to stop these corporations from decreasing the number of carers looking after people to help cut costs and maximise profits.

In the U.S, Canada and across most of Europe they have laws that enforce a minimum staff to resident ratio. I don’t understand why we don’t. That is why I am proposing that a minimum ratio of 1:5 (the legal ratio in the US and several other countries) be put in place by law to prevent the negative effects of understaffing.

People are more than tasks, and every person requiring care deserves to have their needs met and dignity preserved.

Please sign to let the UK government know that the care system NEEDS this in place and to let the care organisations who are guilty of this deliberate understaffing know that it is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Thank you for your time.

*I am remaining anonymous to protect myself at work