Opinion: Care sector poorly represented in the media

A polite request to the media – please be more balanced in your coverage of the care sector.

If you go through all that is written and said on the multitude of media platforms which exist these days, there are precious few positive things broadcast about the care sector. In fact, the print and broadcast media in particular paint the sector as something of a horror story.

This is not only wildly inaccurate, but it is damaging too.

Yes, the reports on under-funding should be made public, and stories about malpractice (some of which is appalling) should be reported at length and the operators held to account. Absolutely no question.

But the fact remains that there is so much good done in care homes, so much wonderful work carried out that makes a huge and positive difference to adults nearing the ends of their lives. But this barely gets a mention, apart, perhaps, from social media posts from residents’ family members who are grateful for the care their loved ones are receiving.

Carers the length and breadth of the country go the extra mile, day in and day out, to ensure that the time spent in homes by elderly adults is as comfortable, enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.

They do the little things that make all the difference to a resident’s happiness and wellbeing, as well as deal with necessities which most people would shy away from.

This is what is so potentially damaging about the blanket negative media coverage – the thousands of carers (who are just that – they care) are surely in danger of feeling undervalued and even held in contempt. Or maybe they are so used to the negativity now that they rise above it and see their job, and the satisfaction of making that vital difference, worth the flak.

While the NHS is castigated for all sorts of reasons, there are equally countless stories from those who have been through hospital who remark how good the staff were, the nurses and doctors were brilliant etc.

The fact is, those who spend their last days, months and even years in a care home don’t live to tell the same tale about the care they receive.

Which is sad, because carers deserve a great deal more credit than they get at the moment – and the media is at least partly to blame.