Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ned Ludd's last stand

It's now a couple of years since our son died and I'm not a carer these days.  You've probably noticed that I haven't been posting recently.  It isn't that I've lost interest - but as I don't do the day to day care, the world is a different place for me.  I am moving on, and although I am still involved with campaigning and doing things for people with disabilities - particularly learning disability, it is different.

This will therefore be one of my last posts as Ned Ludd.  I'll try to keep up the work elsewhere.

As a parting shot, I've put in a complaint to the BBC about Casualty and Holby and the way they portray carers in hospital.  While I enjoy the programmes as drama, I get constantly irritated by the way carers are always portrayed as overprotective and smothering, abusive and manipulative or mentally ill and inadequate - and the hospital staff are always nice, tolerant, better informed and paternalistically on the side of the patient (by their own criterea).

It simply isn't true and sets us up as negative stereotypes.  The reality is that carers almost always have the best interests of those they care for at heart, are often better informed about the specific condition than any 'generalist' nurse and are having the devils job getting the hospital to take them seriously and deliver any sort of care with dignity.

If you're a health professional, don't be offended - we know you're massively overworked and under resourced and we don't expect you be an expert in every possible condition - just listen to the carers more.  They often know more than you about their relative.

if you're a script writer for these programmes, please work up some positive plot lines about carers - they are very often the 'good guys' in real life and you have a responsibility to not run them down.  I know it's only drama, but it does set a tone and build up stereotypes.  It wouldn't be that hard to improve - and there is real drama out there.  If you need any help or leads, ask me - or any other carers.

Ned Ludd, ex-carer.

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