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2009 : Watershed Year : The End Of Hope ? -Carers UK Forum

2009 : Watershed Year : The End Of Hope ?

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
One thread merely of the observational sort.


A pivotal year for carers.

2007 - 2009 : From almost nothing , several fledgling forums sprung up and , horror of horrors , actually run and controlled by carers themselves. Common theme was to breakout from the apron strings of our two main supporting organisations at that time.

As with most new infants , disagreements galore amongst some , almost a turf war , before things settled down. One , started off with a very similar layout to this Forum , but with a very active " What Must Be Done " section. Within a year , CarerWatch was spawned as a separate Forum , with many participating in both.

CarerWatch ?

Difficult to pin down as to it's main objective even if that idea is valid. A loose collection of individuals throwing in ideas / suggestions / observations into a pot to see what came out is probably more apt.

What it did become more through evolution than planning was a " DoomWatch " collective much in the same way as portrayed in the 1970s BBC series , only for all matters relating to carers as opposed to a scientific watchdog. I use the word COLLECTIVE as that best describes the structure , posters coming together without rules and leaders .... halycon days ...

One thing that was produced was THE CARERS LETTER. In short , a list of " Demands " co-ordinated across several forums and outside contacts , involving several hundred contributors towards the final end product.

For anyone wanting to see how so many with different views could debate amongt themselves without a Big Sister watching , and actually learning from each other as the debate continued , look no further !

Not my personal choice for the best but , would be the one to feature in any future textbooks.

Any differences or politics were thrown out the window , that document was the goal , with general agreement from all ... something had to be done , and it was !

Fast forward to 2009 , and the Labour Government.

Consultations were announced to meet with carers nationwide , and to have some of their big guns sit down and actually talk with , and listen to , ordinary carers. Some of the local ones were reported verbatim , and still available to be read on the old CarerWatch site.

I seem to recall Gordon Brown himself being present at one ? James Purnell , Works and Pensions Secretary , possibily the lead suspect now known as the " Carer Killer " was also doing the rounds.

I won't add anything on what our supporting organisations made of all this for one sole reason. I don't want to break the Forum rules. Suffice to say , we tried to drag them kicking and screaming with us and fellow vanguards of the carer army. That in itself might have a made a difference ... ?

Hopes high , we , as carers , had done our bit , leaving nothing on the kitchen table before the politicians went back to their liar to decide on our fate. One or two from CarerWatch had already denounced the Consultations for what they actually were.

Main observation being ... and VERY apt ... carers were breaking out their cage , and something had to be done. No guesses as to the identity of one of those " Prophets of Doom " , your reading his latest posting !

( As an aside at this point , any politics behind what we were attempting were stripped out , Dugsie and I agreed on that point , both red and black forgotten , for the moment. The Plight transended politics , and continues to do so !!! )

Then , THE bomb was detonated.

Nothing for carers beyond scraps. Disbelieve virtually all-round , within months , all bar a couple of independantly run carer forums folded. Even CarerWatch itself , although some carried on , but it was never the same again.

Aftermath ?

In CarerLand , the fallout continues, One only has to look at the numbers of " Reads " on postings made upto 2009 , and watch the same numbers drop off , some almost off a cliff. In turn , tone of postings has dropped , less observations / suggestions , more for help / advice. In short , the very heart seems to have been ripped out of carers since 2009.

2017 ?

Almost like coming back to a ruined city. Yes , there are signs of life , our supporting organisations are still with us but even more divorced from life in CarerLand. That is to be expected , they dare not risk too much contamination as if events prior to 2009 ever resurfaced.

New faces , but still operating as charities , the definition of which seems even more blurred today as it was then. Still , so long as the charities respected the gagging order placed on them by Government , they can't get into trouble ? As if some would have even considered that , gag or no gag ?

Soul ?

In CarerLand , the very nature of Austerity threathens that one thing we all have left. The main attacks so far have been on our carees ( As if not being able to work was a crime under the new Government which is merely following what the previous Government started ).

In two months time , the Carers Strategy , on par with 2009 , but , barely a whimper from carers as to what's in it ... scraps redistributed amongst our numbers being the odds on favourite. As if to say , bring whatever on , we are past caring ?

Where do we go from here ?

That's not for me to decide , only carers themselves can do that !

It would be interesting to see some comments from our supporting organisations as to their role , and views , on 2009 ... if only pigs could fly ?

Prove me wrong ?
Searching through for some backgound material , and came across the following , posted on 2 July 2009 , originally posted on a " Very " radical / political forum ... Forum rules here ! ... even heretics tread carefully on that one .... and copied across for the benefit of other members of CarerWatch.

As background material to gather any support from that quarter ... there are no politics in caring !

All colours of the rainbow , and some where no rainbow exists , are more than welcome to add their support to our cause ... to collectively ease the Plight of carers :

For many carers , particularly lone carers , one's individuality disappears .... you become an extension of your caree , existing solely to care , with no real sense of what's happening in the outside world .... for all intents , your caree IS your world.

Doctors / nurses / other medical staff may be the only people one sees from week to week .... they have not come to see you , they have come to see your caree. Their only concern for you is your ability to care regardless of your own needs , or health.

It is not uncommon to find two 80 years old + senior citizens , probably married , wherein as long as one of them is able to care for the other , the authorities turn a blind eye. Any help for either of them comes at a price .... around £ 15 per hour ... unless it is on rare occasion that such help falls within the NHS's ambit.

Just a few thoughts ...... again , I would refer any reader to the CarerWatch site ( URL posted earlier ) ..... therein you'll find many posting across the whole spectrum of caring , and the failure of the System to consider us any more than mere slaves.

Parts included across several other theads in the past , and on the Recruitment Poster sent to numerous third parties over the last few months.

Fast forward to 2017 ... still apt or have things really changed ?
Good one Chris, No it's got worse. They turn a blind eye to everything UNLESS you make yourself known and then they come down on you like a tonn of bricks. The other thing is the pay just 10.98 per hr for my son's care so that's come down in price too. Politics and care...hand and glove deffo these days.
Thanks Charm.

First two paragraphs were my own experience over 10 years.

The Pusher .... who pushed a wheelchair.

The final paragraph was , and still is , apt ... like blood in the water for a school of great white sharks for the members / posters on that other Forum.

Politics ?

Fun at first with establishing Carerwatch. Soon settled down with short prompts from myself and an ageing Socialist working together , each waiting for the other to start something to explore on a mutual basis.

Then integrated into a collective way to work together to collectively ease the Plight in anyway we could ... opening minds a top priority , and I try to carry on that aspect in my postings on here.

That took some doing , throwing individually out the window in favour of a mutually , substainable collective ... a hive without a queen ... and we did it !

Then came 2009 ... separate thread already for anyone interested.
So what happened Chris..Tell me more:)
If refering to that other Forum , minimal response ... not quite political / theoretical enough for the members.

Much as excepted but , part of the scatter gun approach at the time.

To continue to evolve , diversity was also sought , bringing in new angles on the issues before us at the time.

Would have been useful in the areas of health / housing / social care law and local government to name just a few ... inhouse special advisors more or less ... and there are former carers in all categories out there today.

Making blind assumptions is one thing ( Recent Survey thread springs to mind ! ) is one thing , making carefully thought out ones with the aid of expertise in that field is something entirely different ... and in CarerLand , a new ( Correct ) way of doing things.

In fact , the only way !!!

That's why I will always suggest that CarerWatch were light years ahead in their thinking when compared with any other organisation in the carer / caree sector.

Only Trussells now stand out from the pack. No pun intented but ... they delivery precisely what it says on their tin.

Can any of the others ?

One priority that should never be outside any top three in any organisation.


Just a little more ... interlocking threads again ... 21 Hour Rule thread.

Students ... studying social care and law ... how many are also carers ?

Lecturers , also advisors to many in the social care sector.

Post graduates in social care ... CarerLand as their chosen field ?

Any carer organisation spotted the potential ?

If not , why not ?????????

If politicians turn a blind eye , can their advisors ?

One leading academic sent out a strong message ... nobody appears to have heard , except for me :

http://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-camp ... nt#p343686

....... and where it was published ??????

That also sent a message ... still trying to see what's underneath it !

Carers strategy in June ... separate thread on that one ... did our prof participate ?

Didn't like what was being proposed , and aired a warning through that article so as to not directly challenge the powers to be ?

If he had a direct email address , I would have asked him ... in a roundabout way.

Ponder on this for a while.
2009 ?


2017 ... and there is some hope ?






Sometimes , no words are needed ..... ?

Step by step ....
Thanks for the potted history lesson. I suppose I was just embarking on my carer journey back in 2009- submerged by day in a full time job and paddling like mad to fit things in by night wodering where life had gone. I doubt I even had time for browsing back then.
I certainly identify with the picture of all visitors coming for caree. House buzzes most of the time- nurses, carers, Drs, OTs, Audiologists, hearing gadget apts, opticians, Care reviews, SS assessments , gardeners, sitting service, helicopters visiting Dad-quite a little social life. Dad in hospital and I am rattling around wondering who I can talk to today. Does anyone out there know I exist?
((( hugs))) Henrietta. I know where you are coming from. My day not to visit hubby. DD goes today. I had to wait in for someone to look at my grill. He's the only one I've actually spoken to. DD txt to say hubby ok. I try so hard not to feel lonely, bereaved etc, but it doesn't always work. My sister is on holiday in Cornwall. Thrilled for her but so envious. She's meeting up with my granddaughter, who is at Falmouth university. She's passed her Ist year exams( hooray). I'm so proud, but wish I was with them. I perhaps sound selfish?