Nationalise care homes
I am writing regarding your feature, Vulnerable face counting rising costs of social care (LEP September 9).
Please may I ask your readers not to shed any tears for any care homes involved.
Care homes often close because the companies that run them charge their patients exorbitant fees, employ too few staff and pay those unfortunate, overworked staff a pittance.
A nursing home can charge £900 a week for people requiring nursing care.
One chief executive of a large care home organisation has a salary of nearly £1.7m.
Carers are being paid the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour (if 21 and over), £5.13 (18 to 20 years), £3.79 (under 18s) and £2.73 (apprentices).
This extremely low apprentice rate applies to those aged between 16 and 18, or 19 and over, in the first year of their so-called training, which in reality is learning on the job.
And they wonder why they can’t attract staff.
They then accuse local authorities of paying a pittance.
The local authorities are spending taxpayers’ money and therefore are trying to keep costs down.
It is care homes which often pay a pittance and expect staff to work in extremely difficult, stressful conditions.
These overworked, underpaid employees have to do a dirty, hard, sometimes dangerous job. Sometimes looking after people who have dementia/mental illness who can become aggressive.
These companies say they can’t attract suitable staff.
If you pay extremely low wages, you shouldn’t be surprised if the quality of staff is poor.
Although as an agency RGN, having worked in hundreds of nursing homes all over the North West, I have worked with some superb carers and admire them for achieving high standards for such low wages.
Nobody will consider caring as a profession while it is so low paid, overworked and understaffed. That is why the turnover of staff in care homes is so high.
They look for something better. For instance, better wages, and better prospects.
They look for a better job and that means virtually anything other than caring.
A lot of care homes run on the fewest staff they can get away with because this means increased profit.
They also don’t provide the essential adequate provisions needed for nurses/carers to do the job properly.
Staff become demotivated, and, even worse, the patients.
If patients are being charged £1,000 a week, they should be provided with enough staff and provisions for carers to do the job properly.
I think care homes/nursing homes should be nationalised and brought under the control of the NHS. The care of the elderly, mentally ill, or those with learning difficulties is too important to be left in the hands of money men who know nothing about caring.
Mrs Ahmed, chief executive of the NCA, says people think the pay is bad. The pay is terrible, there are not enough staff employed and those staff are overworked.
Speeding and parking danger
Having lived in the Ronaldsway area of Preston for 30 years, and seeing the increase in traffic from Cromwell Road to Holme Slack Lane, which was initially a residents-only road, I’ve noticed that motorists have been speeding.
There have been many near- miss accidents.
There is also dangerous parking outside the pedestrian entrance to Deepdale Retail Park.
Cars have been parking on the bend in the road.
They have also been parking on the bus stop area, which is also very dangerous.
This is my first ever letter to the LEP but I feel strongly about this dangerous situation.
Ray Warbrick via email
Time we left the European Union
Germany is recognised for being highly efficient and a country that is the powerhouse of
Europe and the EU, but after recent events that is now being called into question.
First, Chancellor Angela Merkel has been blamed for causing the current and ongoing migrant crisis with her open door policy of welcoming hundreds of thousands of migrants into her country. That is encouraging millions to make the perilous journey from Syria and causing mayhem in the countries between their arrival point and their chosen destination, Germany.
Because of her stance on migrants, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, has now forced other EU member states, who are signed up the Schengen Agreement (open borders) to accept quotas of the 120,000 that have so far arrived from Italy and Greece. Many are economic
migrants seeking a better life, and how many are terrorists ?
All this without any thought for the residents, businesses, religious concerns or economies of these countries, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic and all the others that are already affected.
Now, we hear about the VW exhaust-rigging scandal that has affected 11 million vehicles worldwide, which will be extremely expensive for the car giant to resolve the issues that are now accruing, legal action, compensation etc and to the German economy. It may also spell the end of the diesel engine – a German invention.
Not a happy time for Angela Merkel or VW, or the rest of the member states having the migrants forced on to them. It is time that we left the EU to its own devices and all that goes with them.
Philip Griffiths, North West President, UKIP (UK Independence Party)
Past times of Italian eatery
The above Looking Back picture shows Da Carmelo pub and restaurant in Forton, now an Italian eating place.
It was the Hamilton Arms and was owned by my great grandparents, Edward and
Sarah Huntington, around 1880. They are shown outside with my grandparents, Thomas and Elizabeth Huntington, on bicycles and some of the staff.
Mrs Eileen Wood (nee Huntington), Fulwoo