Hands off our Homes: “In the private sector, it’s not always about the quality of care”

This is the second in our series of interviews with care workers in the at-risk homes. They tell us why they do their job, and what makes it all worthwhile.

Why do you work in residential care?

I absolutely love working in care. It’s an honour to be part of the residents’ lives and to be able to make a difference to their quality of life. To see the positive encouragement, and the trust from the residents makes my day.

How do you think Glen Lee and Holcroft House make a difference to residents and their families?

The staff completely get it! They understand CQC standards and use them to the full. Dignity and respect is top of our agenda. We are one big family of staff, residents and relatives. We always think of new and better ways to influence their lives to the best of our ability.

[In the provate sector] it is not always about the quality of care, it is about profit making. Residents are not seen as people, they are budget figures.

What have you heard about/experienced working for private care companies?

It appears it is not always about the quality of care in private, it is about profit making. Residents are not seen as people, they are budget figures. Staff training is poor, which means poor care for our most vulnerable and loved ones.

What options do you have if Glen Lee and Holcroft House close?

Very little choice – private or agency – which I do not want to work for. I’m not sure I could stay in the care sector if I am not bale to give excellent quality of care. I could not stand to see our vulnerable loved ones being neglected like they are in the majority of private homes.

What would you like the council to do to help Glen Lee and Holcroft House stay open?

I think the Council could help the homes stay open by thinking more about the agiing population and realistically planning forward the care needs of Southampton. Only a proportion of residents will fit in the extra care bracket and there will always be a need for residential care.

Closing the homes will give the private sector a monopoly, leaving them free to charge what they want and do what they want. They will increase their rates and the outcome will be that the council pays more for care packages, meaning there are no savings.

The council could look at utilising apprenticeships when taking on new staff, and free up space for more self-funders.

Restrictions are placed on using certain supplies – cheaper alternatives can be used.

Hands off our Home is a joint campaign between UNISON and Unite the union.

Please help by signing the online petition, and completing the council’s online consultation.

If you would like to get involved in the campaign or want more information, email UNISON Southampton District Branch on branchsecretary@unisonsouthampton.org.uk or Unite Southampton and West Hants Branch on mark.wood@unitetheunion.org

Alternatively, please call UNISON on 02380 832740 or Unite on 02380 834327.

Not a member of UNISON? Join online today.