Tag Archives: Observer newspaper

Podcast Episode 045: A Place for Carers

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2In this episode the focus is on informal unpaid carers in the health and social care system. Who carers are, and the roles they perform, are honoured as amazing strengths that can be relied upon. However, the role comes with burdens and pressures, and services have not been so quick to see carers as a priority for the vital support they need.

The focus for this episode was triggered through reading an article by Nicci Gerrard in the Observer newspaper (UK Sunday broadsheet). She was reflecting on her father’s experiences of dementia, and more specifically on the damaging effect of a hospital admission on his ability to function independently. It is not a way of blaming staff or the service, but more a reality check on how the demands of an ageing population are overloading the existing service.

John’s Campaign has been established to promote greater access for carers on to hospital wards, particularly to continue supporting their loved ones who have succumbed to dementia. The costs are very minimal and the benefits for patients, carers and staff are very significant. Good practice in this issue exists in small pockets, but the challenge of the campaign is for best practice to become standard practice everywhere.

To access the full content of this episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” [Tia Walker].

“I am sickened that the government thinks my value is so low when actually carers save the government billions.” [Anonymous carer survey response].

Podcast Episode 024: Not for profit

TheStrengthsRevolution_albumart_2-2How often do we stop and reflect on our values and principles? Not often enough, despite the fact they influence who we are, what we think, what we decide, and how we present to the world around us.

It can often take a sudden message or event that sharply challenges our values that triggers that very reflection on our personal standpoint. One such message recently encountered in the UK Observer Sunday newspaper was an article examining the gulf between the wealth and focus of private equity firms increasingly owning and running social care services for our most vulnerable people in society. The senior personnel and owners/shareholders are on astronomic salaries and dividends, and by contrast, many of the workers are forced to provide the work for less than a minimum wage.

If we examine the NHS Constitution we can be forgiven if we ask the question ‘what price are we now placing on compassion and care?’ Meanwhile, the politicians of all persuasions seem equally complicit in the neglect of fundamental values-based practice, more concerned not to offend the powerful in their pursuit of value-for-money (aka greed and inequality). Our most vulnerable and needy in society should never become pawns in the game of profit, but the slow creeping takeover by private equity of the ownership of social care is making care and compassion commodities to be exploited.

To hear the full episode click on the links to iTunes and Sound Cloud (or go to Stitcher Radio):



“A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” [Dwight D Eisenhower].