Surrey care leaders have expressed their disappointment over an ITV documentary broadcast last week.
Care Homes: The Long Year Alone, which was aired on Thursday, looked at the care sector and the experiences of residents and staff during the pandemic.
Chair Simon Carter, said the Surrey Care Association, which represents over 400 members, was “incredibly disappointed” by the portrayal of the care sector.
He said the documentary failed to identify the “root causes” of the “enormous pressure” on the sector, including patients being discharged to homes without negative tests and government policy.
The SCA chair described the programme as “negative in the extreme” and portrayed the sector as “shrouded in unrelenting gloom”.
As well as highlighting failings, Simon said the pandemic had also “shone a light on all that’s good within our sector, something that simply wasn’t evidenced here”.
“The vast majority of carers and care providers have been doing outstanding work in the face of almost unbearable strain and in the most trying of circumstances,” Simon said.
“We would have hoped for a documentary that highlights some of the wonderful work that so many carers have been doing. Instead, we faced a bleak, depressing and unbalanced representation of our industry that is far removed from the experience of the Surrey Care Association and its members.”
Jon Stanley, Chief Operating Officer of CHD Living, a care home group operating 13 care homes in Surrey and South London, said the broadcast had provided an “extremely unfair and inaccurate account of what’s been happening within care homes across the board, which is incredibly difficult for us to ignore”.
Jon added: “Although unfortunately there is a small number of poorly operated care homes, there is also a huge number of fantastic facilities that work hard to care for and protect their residents. Such biased and one-sided reporting is a huge injustice to the millions of care workers doing such a great job, and only serves to reinforce the common misconceptions about care homes. In reality we are a safe place for the nation’s most vulnerable and have stringent protocols in place to minimise the impact of this unprecedented virus on both residents and staff.”