- 2014 National Retired Members Conference
- 3 June 2014
Conference notes with concern that the conditions of service of Care Staff is a real scandal and as a result the frail, elderly people are not receiving the level of service they should.
A study by Baroness Kingsmill has stated that frail elderly people are being exposed to neglect and abuse because caring and compassionate workers are being “forced out” of their jobs by low pay and poor conditions of service. The care industry is now in a “vicious downward spiral”, staffed by “exhausted”, rushed and disillusioned workers, many of whom are determined to leave the care sector the study argues.
Baroness Kingsmill further states that in all her years as an employment lawyer she had never seen so many under-qualified, undertrained and underpaid staff in any sector of the economy. The Carers are paid below the minimum wage, forced to accept zero-hours contracts, have few if any qualifications and even fewer opportunity to be trained.
The Cavendish Review set up by the government recommended that care workers undergo training program with an accreditation before they are allowed to work alone unsupervised. The government has rejected it as being ‘too bureaucratic’.
Most elderly people will end their lives needing the compassion and tenderness of healthcare assistants, at home, in hospital or a care home.
Conference calls upon National Retired Members’ Committee to work with National Executive Council and other relevant organisations to:
1. campaign vigorously for the improvement of conditions of service of caring staff particularly those working with the elderly;
2. high-light the scandal of poor services being given to the elderly and frail at present and seek in partnership with other agencies for improvements for decent care and compassion for the elderly;
3. report to next year’s National Retired Members Conference 2015 the progress made to address the outrageous and appalling situation.