A carer who truly cares is one of the most valuable – and under-valued – people in the world. Infinitely more valuable than any of the bankers, businessmen and other bigwigs who take home hundreds of times her minimum wage. She truly earns her money, they merely take theirs.
And there are few people I despise more than those intent on dismantling the health service and handing it over to the money-changers.
They have created a chaotic organisation in which carers in the uniforms of at least four different firms turn up each day to assist residents in one small block of sheltered flats.
In which one start-up company can move in to under-cut the existing care providers. Strangers attempting to displace someone with a well established relationship with clients who are old, ill and in need. And perhaps do so, by being cheaper in every sense.
In these circumstances, there’s a huge temptation to “go private” – to pay privately to keep the care and carers you know and trust. As if you hadn’t already paid for them through a lifetime’s National Insurance contributions.
And the more people go down that route, the more they get used to paying double, the easier it becomes for the privatisers to keep siphoning off public money into private pockets. While somehow claiming that it’s in everyone’s interests.
There’s a theory, in power since the Thatcher era, that competition in the so-called “internal market” increases efficiency. It’s a lie.
What it actually increases is profit for the profiteers, at the expense of service and the pay and conditions of those who actually provide it.