Policy & Research Manager Becca Gatherum on BBC Radio Scotland this morning


Extraordinary people living ordinary lives in care homes

Policy & Research Manager Becca Gatherum on BBC Radio Scotland 25/11/16


Policy and Research Manager for Scottish Care, Becca Gatherum, spoke with host Stephen Jardine this morning on BBC Radio Scotland on the topic “Why don’t we hear more positive news stories from care homes.”

Becca told interviewer Steven Jardine “Care home staff are amongst the most dedicated and caring people in Scotland and we need to celebrate these people.”


“It’s really disappointing when we only hear the negative stories but also it’s important to point out that any example of a failure of care should be fully investigated. For each of these stories there are a vast number of positive stories and these relatively small number of negative stories are not reflective of the very positive examples.”


Discussing the public perception of care homes Becca Gatherum said: “We need to share positive stories more widely. I think this points to a really big image problem for care homes. If the only thing you have heard about care homes are negative then you will have a negative impression. There are so many positive things happening.”


Referring to recruitment in the sector Becca Gatherum said: “Some people may see nursing in care homes as a second rate career but it’s a highly skilled job and allows people the opportunity to work in an environment where they can build real relationships with people and also has lots of professional development opportunities. A lot of it comes down to an image problem and how we view what working in a care home is actually like. Every day, nurses are supporting people around the country and we can learn a lot from people who live in care homes.”


One caller said: “There are so many good things happening in care homes throughout the country, the staff couldn’t do enough for our mum, they are like angels.”


Another caller said: “I actually work in care homes and I know that whenever a new resident comes to stay, a good care home will actually find out about that resident, their hobbies and things they did in the past, so we can help them to continue to do the things they like and the things they are passionate about.”


Stephen Jardine: “Reflecting on the recent Panorama programme detailing abuses in nursing homes in England what do you think?”


Caller: “It makes the job harder, care homes are very heavily regulated, unfortunately the media tend to pick up on these bad stories and not unfortunately the positive news stories of which there are so many.”

Steven Jardine: “what do you get out of working in a care home?”


Caller: “I love walking into a care home and feeling the energy and excitement, I see real affection and care, beautiful positive interactions take place between carers and the nurses and the residents, a lot of these people don’t have families and a the carers and nurses often fill this gap. People flourish.”


Asked by Stephen Jardine how the public could better engage with care homes, Becca Gatherum said: “There are lots of opportunities to engage with care homes, to volunteer and fundraise. We need to promote these opportunities better. I would encourage people to take part in Care Home Open Day in June next year where people are invited to take part in events and see how they can get involved in supporting care homes. There are extraordinary people living ordinary lives in care homes.”



Contact Becca Gatherum, Policy & Research Manager for Scottish Care:  [email protected]

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