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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Sunday, 16 November 2003, 04:23 GMT
Your comments

Your comments on the carer's story programme.

Due to the high number of e-mails we get we cannot guarantee to publish every single message we receive. We may also edit some e-mails for legal reasons and for purposes of clarity and length. The views expressed on these pages are not necessarily the views of the BBC.

The e-mails published will be reflective of the messages we have been sent.

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My husband is severely disabled and has homecare come in twice a day to give me a break. The girls that come here are not rude and try really hard to do the job right. The programme I have just seen is exactly what it is like for the carers in this area. They are given an amount of time at each client's home (which isn't enough a lot of the time and that doesn't include travelling time). The obvious reason for the lack of staff all over Britain has got to be the wages. If they were to get a decent wage, people would be queuing up to work for them. But as usual, they are offered nothing attractive so are always short staffed.
Shirley, United Kingdom

Brilliant programme - wonderful to see someone actually taking a genuine interest in how our elderly population is being mistreated in this country. However having worked for a large care agency in my home town these are by no means isolated cases. I personally can relate to all issues highlighted in your programme.
Diane, UK

Excellent programme. I am an 'amateur' carer: my wife is paraplegic. Before she met me she had several carers from agencies who stole money and property from her house. The basic honesty of carers was not tested in this programme - the fact that most are unvetted means that the most vulnerable people in our society can be at risk of crime even within the confines of their own home.
Simon, UK

I currently work as a care worker and was appalled by your programme. It portrayed domiciliary carers as unfeeling wretches who are only out to do as many calls as they can in as short a time possible. This is not true. I had never had any experience in care before I worked for my present company and was given a full 3 days induction and manual handling course as well as shadow training (as much as I felt necessary) before I was "let loose" on the elderly and infirm.

On several occasions when I have been asked to do extra tasks for my clients which are not on their care plan, I have explained that I couldn't do them at that time as I had to move on but have offered to return when my shift has finished to perform the tasks. This is the true face of caring. Going out at 2200 hours because someone has gone sick and their calls need covering isn't funny but it's something you do because you care.
Pam, UK

Last night's programme has just highlighted how badly we treat our elderly and sick. It reminds me that we all grow old and we should do something now to sort out the problems otherwise we might find ourselves in the same situation. Please thank Fran for her hard work and commitment while doing that job. I am sure there are many caring people like her who try hard in a failing system. I to and frightened of getting old and frail.
Janet Berridge-Brown, UK

Being a fully qualified and experienced carer who has just finished work from a local council due to stress, I would like to say that there are some very good carers out their who do a good job under extreme pressure from management. Due to the lack of support a carer receives i felt i could not work in care work any longer. I strongly believe that this all stems from over paid under worked management who do not live in the real world and means more than life quality.
Lisa, UK

I was very shocked to see the standards of the homecare agencies on last night's programme. I am a home carer and found I was embarrassed to go to work in my uniform this morning, however I want to stress that not all agencies are like this. I felt the programme did not reflect a true picture of all private agencies, I am pleased and proud to work for my employer as I feel our company provides a professional service to our clients and all the carers complete training before entering into the community, even myself that has been caring for 10 yrs had to complete the induction training that our company provides. The programme has brought this common problem to light which desperately needs looking into, especially as our jobs are growing more towards that of the district nurses and specialised care is needed from our clients.
Mrs Jacques, Britain

I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist for older people and I am annoyed that there is an ageist assumption that anyone can look after older people. It is a complex and specialist area of care. The programme highlighted the problems of unqualified people looking after older people, without supervision or training.
Marina Stewart, United Kingdom

Congratulations on a true insight into the current system. Fran was typical as a new carer encountering the problems of care in this country in 2003. The comments by clients and council bosses highlight the problems associated with the privatisation of care which most councils now have to subscribe to. Most of the points including timings and training I have recently raised with the team involved with my mother. Lets hope the decision makers listen, and are ready to implement changes so that the quality of life for those who cannot remain independent can improve.
Rick, UK

Although I work for an organisation concerned with care for the elderly and have long been concerned about care I was still shocked by your programme. The programme quietly took us through the details of a life of a carer and showed her becoming more demoralised. If the reporter had continued in that job she also would have ended up making the comments of her managers. She too would have become cynical.

At a time when social services departments are being forced to outsource care of the elderly it provided a powerful argument as to what happens when there is no direct responsibility of the carers by Social services. It was also seeing the quiet dignity and suffering of those being cared for that made it so shocking.
Gill Sargeant, UK

Firstly I want you to take what I'm telling you very seriously, thank you. It's true all of it like the reporter I too have seen it first hand. I have recently resigned from a homecare company in Liverpool after being off sick with anxiety and depression for three months. I started work there in a senior position in February of this year and through my experiences I only lasted until the beginning of August. The way that Lady Shelly interviewed I have seen that happen, also staff overloaded with work, pathetic inductions, people who are untrained giving training using the hoist, managers who have no care experience, name calling of clients, name calling of staff and senior staff not using documentation and this all seems okay as long as the company makes money.

Through my arguments and my standard of care I would like to see done I refused to go back until I found other employment. I did speak to the senior manager who seems to have chose to ignore it.
William, England

The shame is not on the government, the shame is on those who are paid to care....and don't.
Julie, UK

Well done to Panorama for highlighting the scandal of care (what care) for the Elderly. As usual in this greedy society that we put profits before people. I hope I don't live long enough to have to rely on these people. To the people in Government it could be you one day.
Miriam Unwin, England

Excellent programme. It showed that the problem is nationwide. Poor social services and private care companies. No monitoring of either. As a result neither care about the service they provide. Social services are wasting money and companies enjoying the benefit.
Ronnie, Scotland

As a carer myself I found the programme to be quite upsetting, yet a fair representation of what happens within this line of work. Fortunately I was not left in the situations Fran was, and I think she did a great job. I am very pleased at what was highlighted, with regards to the lack of time on each call, the fact we have no time allocated to travelling to and from calls, we have no breaks at all which in turn leaves you feeling exhausted, and most companies offer no car allowance for petrol etc.

The carers I have worked with are generally very good, however not all are cut out for the work admittedly, but I think people should remember that a lot of the problems shown in this documentary are not down to the carers but to the Social Services and the Government. I would also like to add that my employers and possibly not the only one's, do not offer Hepatitis inoculations for their carers, which we should have for our and the client's safety.
Laura, UK

Your programme was able to expose the deficiencies in the present system of domiciliary care very well. However, the use of the term "carer" for paid care workers was confusing. "Carers" care for frail, disabled or ill relatives or friends at home. The care they provide is unpaid. Carers UK of which Carers Wales is a part, is trying to help carers to understand their role and status in society so that they are aware of the benefits and services to which they are entitled. We would ask you to use the term "care worker" or "care assistant" in future programmes to distinguish between the two roles.
Sandra Burton, Wales

This is only the tip of the iceberg. The care delivered to our elderly is awful. Having watched your programme and read these comments, it seems that the way forward is to get government involved with some urgency. Self regulation obviously does not work. But where does the money come from, Iraq? Who is going to monitor the situation, a minister earning 100,000 a year? Who can come up with a professional care plan that works for the individual, the care agency?
Colin, UK

Having just watched this programme on care of the elderly I am absolutely appalled. Your reporter must be praised for the conscience she showed in taking on the extra 5 clients to the quota of clients she had for that duty shift. I sincerely hope this programme shocks Government, Social Services and Care Agencies to a huge wake up call. Everybody deserves the very best of care and most especially the elderly.
Jennifer, UK

How spiteful I found parts of that documentary to be. Your reporter telling that woman what a carer had said about her mother. I saw the pain that caused. Just because the carer made a remark about her is rather different from saying it to the person or relative herself. How bold of Fran to do this; maybe I could befriend Fran, gain her confidence and hear in, 'private,' what she thought of some of her senior management and then kindly relay those comments to them? I'm sure that person doing a very difficult job on very low pay will be made a scapegoat of and sacked. Well done.
James Stevenson, England

We have watched your programme tonight and as carers ourselves we found the programme very disturbing. Something needs to be done about this because there are a lot of untrained carers as we well know and this is very upsetting to know that the elderly are suffering for other peoples' mistakes.
Bev and Brian, England

Moved to tears by the programme. Makes me fear for my own parents. Thank you Fran for helping to expose this deplorable situation where our elderly are neglected. Will things ever change or will we just continue to receive lip-service and no action to rectify the problem?
Mags, UK

Why is a 92 year old at home, alone all day, having to wait for three short visits a day? Is that mentally healthy for anyone. Don't blame anyone working as a carer as the situation makes everyone give up "caring". Someone must decide when one must go to a nursing home. They have a nurse and several staff on hand when needed.
Rosemary Hughes, UK

I thought the programme about the police force and problems with race was bad but this (care for the elderly) is far far worse. How can we start to correct the situation and will we be told of the impact of your excellent programme?
George Berry, UK

I was a carer 10 years ago and it seems to me the problems were similar then but are even worse now. I was always going to do something about reporting the bad aspects of caring which I came across, but was always afraid of being looked upon as a stirrer. I want to congratulate Fran for her courage in unveiling some of the cases she had to deal with, I wish I had done it all those years ago. The thought of this happening all over the country fills me with horror. Since I left the job I have never forgotten some of the poor standards of care.
Sandra , U.K.

Hope you send a copy of tonight's Panorama programme (16 11 03)on care of the elderly to Mr Blair. My husband and I are in our middle sixties and wonder what is in store for us. Personally, I'm terrified.
Eve Walker, England

Thank you for highlighting the plight for home care. Having had carers for my Father the last nine years, I can identify with all that has been reported. Carers are frequently untrained, not told expected times of calls or what diagnosis. I can name just three carers who have really cared, others have been acceptable and some totally unsuited to what they were doing with no interest in the work at all. I do think that the person performing the undercover work for you should have been previously trained although this need not have been disclosed to the agencies that she was working for the purposes of your programme. Frail, elderly have to rely and trust on others as so often there are no other family members. Please continue to raise awareness and campaign for better services.
Joan, UK

I have just watched your programme about caring for the elderly. Firstly, well done to Fran. I think she worked incredibly hard. I have worked in care homes before. I can add that they are similar to domiciliary care in the fact that you are pressured to work quickly. This makes you terrified of growing old.
Kelly, UK

I have done that job. And as I watched Fran I felt for her deeply, you cannot get the on call people to help, because more often than not they are in the same position as yourself, just another carer on the end of the phone, hoping the problem will go away, all you do is end up shouting at each other, and feeling helpless, and it's very rare if you ever get help for a two person job. I was left like that for nearly six weeks, looking after someone who suffered a stroke and other very bad complications. All the office was doing was arguing with social services as to how much they could charge. It's about time this situation was brought to light. I just felt as though I was watching myself all over again, a waking nightmare.
Anon, UK

An extremely saddening programme which brings home the true reality of life in Britain in these sophisticated times. How difficult it was to note the stoicism that these elderly people displayed in the face of their problems. I was most saddened by the manner in which they accepted poor service and punctuality as an inevitable consequence of a government system doomed to fail them. Doubtless, the care companies meet their arbitrary performance indicators which allow our politicians to spout forth on the fashion in which they deliver against their promises. This country is in a great, great mess.
Leyton, Wales

The programme missed the point. Correct assessment by social services of care needs = more elderly people being correctly cared for in 24 hour residential / nursing homes = more care hours left for those who really would benefit from home care (only one person in this programme, who was partly deaf/blind and lived with her husband). Shockingly blinkered journalism.
Jerry Brook, London

After watching your programme this evening I was moved to tears so deeply saddened by what I saw. Why should a television programme have to highlight these problems?
Mark Winn, England

Danielle Pauling's comment is obtuse to say the least. Fran Baker's empathy for her clients was blatantly evident and in my mind reflects what the team was trying to show, which was the state of some care delivered to the elderly in their home and the inordinate pressure placed on some carers - hopefully on both points. It also showed how inadequate the public and private agencies could be. Without subterfuge how would we have known what it could be like? Top job Panorama.
Arjun, UK

Your programme this evening brought me to tears. I work as a nurse and more than anything it is not so much the difficulties the staff had but the attitudes they had developed that concerned me most. While coffee room banter may bring inappropriate comments about clients it should not and indeed must not ever interfere with the care that is provided. It took me many years to develop skills in providing effective care in stressful situations and we can never expect inexperienced people to learn these skills in a day. These carers need qualified nursing staff at hand for help and advice.
Yvonne, UK

After watching today's episode on elderly care in Brighton I felt physically sick. When will the government learn that throwing good money at private care companies will never work. All they are interested in is making profit at any cost. The less they pay the less they train the less numbers they employ means more profit! The scary thing is we are all living longer which means the situation can only get worse - and I am getting older.
John Pring, UK

Well done guys, you have done a fantastic thing. I just hope that something comes of your programme and that our elderly are looked after in a far better way than they are now. Well done Fran, you worked very hard.
John, UK

I feel that tonight's programme showed a lot of what I have wanted to say for a long time. I am a young care worker who has also worked many a 16 hour day and have been put in many of the situations that Fran was in across the country. I have come away from work feeling physically sick at the poor allocation of social services resources. I do however feel that the care worker is not automatically to blame, wanting to make an honest and decent living is not a crime. Most care workers are good, honest people. Maybe if the social services had a true understanding of what is out there then we would not be discussing this on Panorama. The world of home care leaves me totally disheartened and at a loss.
Charlotte Foreman, England

I don't think social services should use private agencies to provide care for vulnerable people, because as the programme highlighted they just seem to be into cutting corners. Why can't district nurses do the job of these agencies , it may cost more but aren't our elderly people worth it? After all many risked their lives in world war 2 for us, surely they don't deserve the sort of neglect we saw tonight.
Karl, UK

I would like to show my appreciation to Fran Baker on your recent programme on Age Care in the UK. She showed absolute professionalism with the way she dealt with those elderly people in the film and despite it only being a job, she really showed the qualities that make people like her a pleasure to view on the TV in those situations.
Dave Freeman, London

Thank you so much for tonight's excellent programme on carers. It is a crucial issue - please continue to highlight these problems. Finding live-in care for my elderly mother has been very hard even though she could afford to pay - very few agencies provide live-in care. We eventually found some, which was needed because we live a long way from her and she needs professional care which we can't give, but clearly we were lucky because we found a good agency. But it hasn't been easy for the carers themselves. Your programme properly highlighted carers' own lack of reward and training as well as the needs of the patients/clients. What worries me is that the money paid by clients or social services does not go to the carers but often to the care agencies, but the agencies clearly often do not do enough to support either the carers or the clients. Some provide good support. Others do not. More investigation please - it's a national scandal. How about looking at how much is paid to the agency and how much the carer actually gets?

Your programme made a very strong case for better regulation but how can other people support that case? I would like to join the campaign. Please could you provide me with a contact for this?
Jane Paul, UK

My instant reaction is that we need to be more creative in the way people are enrolled to care for people at home. If neighbours and trusted friends could be properly recognised and remunerated for the care they could give, I am sure more people would be prepared to become involved in caring for those around them. People who are local, very local to the client need to be recruited to cut out all this time wasted in travel. Time I would add that is not paid for. As it is, it is left to those relatives who are able to, and caring neighbours and friends to enhance an otherwise desperate life for many people in need. Sadly your programme demonstrated that these situations of enhanced care are a rarity and the frail are left at the mercy of the so called Care in the Community professionals, the head of which is this government. I commend the efforts of your programme to prick all our consciences.
Linda, UK

I was deeply upset by the programme and is this how we treat our elderly. However as a nurse and having met many a very good carer is it possible that the television can show the good that goes with caring? Sorry to be negative but there is kindness and dedication that goes unrecognised. I fully appreciate the need to show how such agencies operate, and hope that your programme promotes a national debate.
Carolyn, Essex

Having just watched the programme, I am appalled at what we have come to. A large number of the jobs I witnessed should have been assessed and undertaken by Qualified, Registered Nurses. If this is really the state that home care has come to in this country, then the system has failed. Dismally. I hope this is recognised and acted upon.
Bob, Registered Healthcare Worker, UK

One of the saddest things I have seen on television. Made sadder by the fact that there will be many hundreds of cases just like these throughout the country. A fine example of what happens when market forces are introduced to the most vital services and profit becomes a primary motivation for the 'provider'.
Liam Ferris, UK

I watched the programme this evening and like many more I was shocked and disgusted to see our elderly and at risk people being subjected to a total lack of care and this does really reflect on society in general. The one shining light was this young reporter's caring attitude and as she said herself it would haunt her for the rest of her life. This programme needed to be shown and I'm sure the nation is grateful to Panorama for showing it.
Mike, Northern Ireland

I have just watched 'a carer's story' and I am in tears as I type this. I cannot express vehemently enough just how appalled I am with the care agencies filmed. I do hope that, as some of the comments listed claim, there are better agencies out there. Thank you, Panorama, for highlighting this issue to me.
Kirsty, Glasgow, Scotland

The shame of it is that this is all going on under a 'Labour' government. Giving dignity and compassion to our elderly doesn't have quite the same glamour as playing a game of 'Shock and Awe' with the big American kid across the pond.
Anthony Matthews, England

First of all can I congratulate the BBC for highlighting a problem as serious as this and I am sure now that this high profile program has been aired, changes can be made. As for Danielle Pauling's comments, if she'd listened to the programme carefully, she may have noticed that earlier on in the programme Fran stated she would have an experienced carer with her.
C Wilkinson, UK

The situation depicted in the 'carer's story' is a clear cut symptom of the disease first passed to us by Tory governments of the past and continued by the centre-right 'faux' labour government of today. Privatisation continues to rip our public services apart and the people who gave us the quality of life we enjoy today are being neglected by profiteers and selfish middle-class misers. Profit = Compromise on quality of service, it's common sense. The problem is that 'Thatcher's Children' don't care.
Christopher Davies, Scotland

Isn't privatisation great! Independent companies are able to make money out of the old and vulnerable. OK, there might be the odd pensioner who receives a bruise who dies as a result but just look at the money being made by business. Margaret Thatcher and her heir, Tony Blair, must be absolutely delighted. After all, don't they both back the wealth creators? Does it matter who suffers as long as mammon is serviced? I pray to God for a change of heart in this country soon. Who knows how many more vulnerable elderly and young will fall victim to political "ideals".
Nick Baty, England

What a joke, our country is a shambles. These people have worked all their lives and are rewarded in such a way. I am truly disgusted and outraged. Once again the BBC has highlighted what is wrong with our country, yet the people we trust to spend our taxes have fallen way short again.
Mark Richards, England

This programme was horrific. What ever happened to consistency and a good standard of care? As a 36 year old, I wonder what is in store for me when I get older? What has happened to social care in this country?
Nic, UK

I feel ashamed to be British after watching this programme. This country is able to find money to wage war but not for its elderly who have contributed so much to this country. It used to be said that you can judge a society by the way it treats its prisoners, perhaps that should be mended to how it treats its elderly.
Lee, UK

I feel I have to comment on tonight's programme as I have to admit never to have watched a more powerful documentary. I have never before been aware of the outlined problems, but it certainly has opened my eyes. The reporter Fran Baker took on an extremely difficult and emotional task and I have to congratulate her success. I am sure I speak for many in saying, I couldn't have put myself in that position and that I am utterly horrified at its findings. Hopefully this programme will raise awareness and create different attitudes towards the caring of elderly individuals.
Rachel Reid, Scotland

What a fantastic programme. I hope to God that Tony Blair was sitting up in bed tonight watching this programme. I hope that he feels as shocked, as upset and as depressed as I feel at this moment. Let us look on the bright side. We care more for asylum seekers; real and bogus, than we do for our own. Charity begins at home, New Labour. Remember that come election time.
Scotty, UK

I understand the need for secret undercover filming to uncover the racism rife within the Metropolitan Police Force. Fair enough. But can somebody please explain to me how it is justifiable to take hidden cameras into the homes of the elderly, and film those people during what could be the most painful and humiliating part of their lives?

A relative of mine recently passed away, having been in receipt of council in-home care for some time before their death. They had been proud and independent, and the notion of being helped to the bathroom etc was as degrading as they could imagine. I would have been mortified to have discovered that these activities had been filmed within their home.

It may have been necessary to record conversations between the carer and the call centre. It may even have been necessary to hear an ongoing commentary from the carer explaining the problems they had experienced that day - perhaps even from the homes of the elderly.

However, filming those elderly people was utterly unacceptable, particularly in such a secret and underhand manner.
Robin, England

Another piece of brilliant BBC reporting showing how the social services in the UK are crumbling at the seams. The really sad thing is that nothing will change.
David Barnes, Brit living in Spain

I have just watched your programme this evening and have spent most of it in tears. Whilst I am sure that the vast majority of carers are caring, I cannot believe how we as a country, NHS and Social Services can allow some of the things we saw tonight. God willing we will all be old one day. We may well need care. I echo your reporters closing words. I am scared of growing old.
Andrew Robertson, UK

Fran, you did a brilliant job. I sincerely hope those with the power to change the care system learn from this programme. It's disgraceful that such frail people are left in distress and pain for want of staff or legislation. Again, well done.
Pete, UK

Dear BBC, thank you for finally showing the public how horrendous the British care system can be. My Grandmother lives with us and needs two carers to help with her daily routine. In total we have gone through three or four agencies, and although the carers themselves are nice people (some of them), it's the agency themselves that need sorting. However a sad note about the programme's credits, we feel that the way Doris' death was announced didn't seem at all sympathetic to the situation, but otherwise it was an excellent broadcast.
John D, UK

An interesting programme, the content of which will be familiar to many. I organise live in care for my friend/neighbour of many years and have been disgusted by the level (or lack) of training given to carers - many of whom are very young and foreign. I hope this is the start of an enquiry into this whole area of our society.
Jill Dax, UK

Have just watched Carers. Beyond obscene. Unspeakable. We should all be ashamed. And just how much cash are we pumping into our totally misguided, unchristian military adventures abroad currently?
C Weston, England

Great programme. Makes you frightened of getting old. Carers just are not trained enough. They are so short staffed they don't care who they send.
Victoria, England

I would like to thank you for 'The Carer's Story.' Like many, I have been aware of the shortcomings of the system we have in place at the moment for caring for the nation's elderly, but I had no idea of the extent of the problem. I am only 23, with a young baby and about to embark upon a post-grad - still young, with what is perhaps a young person's selfish attitude to life; I am generally only concerned with issues that immediately concern me. However that changed when I watched Panorama tonight. Thank you for opening my eyes to what is a serious and heart-rending problem, and persuading me that younger people must do all they can to change the way our elders are treated.
Mrs Lorna Allan, Scotland

I watched your programme on the care for the elderly and all I can say is that it is an absolute disgrace that elderly people are being cared for in this way. Someone needs to do something not a few months down the line but now. I certainly would not like to be cared for in that way and I would not like to see my grandparents be cared for in such a way. The care that the elderly receive in Great Britain is dreadful and I would like to thank Panorama for highlighting the problem of care for the elderly in Great Britain.
G McC, Northern Ireland

Having just watched your programme on carers in this so called humane little green island of ours, I am disgusted to think that this is the level of care our taxes go to provide for our elderly. I echo the words of the journalist who suffered the ignominy of watching and caring for the elderly during filming, "I would not want to get old and have to be treated worse than an animal would be treated". It stuns me that in this world in this century this is what we think of human beings. It was a great piece of filming but has none-the-less led me sick to my stomach.
Paul, England

I would like to say how moving this programme was and having recently lost both my grandparents in the last 18 months, has really hit home as to what old people have to put up with if they are not cared for by their families.

I take my hat off to Fran Baker as she portrayed this appalling state of old age care in this country, when it should be the government who should make this priority to fund this type of care, as those people who are of old age now are the ones who fought for our countries in the last two world wars and this is the type of respect and care they get. Tony Blair's government should be ashamed of themselves and as for the bloke on the TV from the Housing Association in this programme, all he said was complete waffle.

Well done to Panorama for bringing this to the attention of the British public and also a big thanks to Fran Baker, who I think was fantastic with the caring attitude she showed in the entire film.
Dave Freeman, London

Thank you for exposing the plight of the elderly and most vulnerable of our society. Shame on those in government, at a national and local level for allowing the elderly to be treated in this way.
Gareth Evans, UK

What an extraordinary, shocking, informative programme that was necessary to be shown. Fran you deserve a medal for your work on this programme. You are an inspiration to others. All the best for your career. You deserve success. Well Done.
Paul Barber, United Kingdom

I work as a Social Worker and recognise the problems encountered, this is a national disgrace, which will not go away until vulnerable older people are given the priority they deserve.
Anon (I would lose my job)

The first lesson for these so called carers should be that one day you might need to be cared for! It's bad enough that these old people are treated appallingly after hopefully a good life. As the father of a disabled child, I know that after my wife and I are unable to care for my daughter, she will be dependent on these so called carers. Great country Tony Blair, whilst you waste billions in Iraq, British people are treating each other worse than animals.
David Boyce, UK

We should be asking ourselves why there is need for strangers to care for our elderly, whether we are prepared to give them the respect and friendship they can expect from us and we should be planning from an earlier age how we are going to pay them fairly for their services. Nothing comes for nothing and I feel they are coming cheap at the moment, which must be hard for them to stomach as they do a difficult job. If anyone who has cared for an elderly relative as I have can tell me their patience isn't broken sometimes, and their judgement of how to deal with a situation doesn't sometimes come down to 'cruel to be kind' I would have to deify them! Old people are like children, they need care, and kindness, and gentle discipline and on top of this I see my mother getting love and respect from her carers.
Howe-davies, England

I have just been watching your documentary, a carer's story, and I simply had to contact you to let you know how disgusted I am with your team.

You are commenting on the awful state of care agencies taking on staff with little or no training and how badly this can affect the elderly and yet you are guilty of committing the exact same crime.

Your reporter should have been fully trained in all aspects of care work before even thinking about carrying out this so called investigation. She and your whole crew are guilty of putting the lives of the old and infirm at risk by letting an unskilled person attempt to care for them.

I used to think highly of your programme and take notice of what you reported. I now think you should be ashamed of what you have done and need to seriously rethink the methods you use for reporting. I shall certainly never listen to anything you have to say without a very large pinch of salt.
Danielle Pauling, England

I work for a company providing domiciliary care. I feel that more emphasis should be placed upon the allocation of care by Social Services as they are the ones who decide how long a client requires based on their needs. The new standards brought in by the National Care Standards Commission are requiring carers to undergo more training than before which can only be a good thing. There are a lot of good care workers out there and this programme didn't really reflect the effort and care that some carers and agencies/companies do provide for their clients.
Kirsty, UK

A carer's diary - Merseyside
16 Nov 03 |  Panorama
A carer's diary - Brighton
16 Nov 03 |  Panorama
The problem with home care
17 Nov 03 |  Panorama

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