Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care

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Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care

Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care

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Even on the most basic healthcare insurance, after the birth of my child I spent five days in hospital recovering from an emergency C-section, which is considered normal here but contrasts to three to four days in the UK. Bunting captures the commitment of many care workers who, while knowing themselves demeaned as ‘just’ carers, suggest to her: ‘I am not bothered. I would have preferred to read chapters as narratives supported by her essays: she clearly spoke to and heard from a lot of interesting people and I would have liked to have heard more about them. In one chapter, Bunting arrives at the offices of a voluntary-sector organization which supports families with a disabled child.

Where this approach has resulted in poor care, such as in the notorious case of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, health managers respond with programmes and associated performance indicators to promote compassion, as if this can be legislated and quantified. The author looks at the devaluing of care from cradle to grave, especially the way that is both gendered and discriminatory in other ways around disability and a workforce that’s badly paid, poorly respect3d and disproportionately drawn from BAME communities. Surely this is the lesson of 2020, as Bunting suggests in her preface, whilst conveying the hope that the pandemic may indeed engender change. Labours of Love ] should be compulsory reading for every MP, every manager in the NHS and the care 'industry' .Within the current climate the book provides an answer to those questioning how we reached this point and what political and cultural shifts are required to repair our starved care systems. Yet, if care in our public institutions is deteriorating, the situation surrounding social care is even worse—often on the point of collapse. View image in fullscreen Sculptor Luke Perry’s medical worker, installed at a park near Birmingham, a tribute to care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Paid or unpaid, the quality of care in our lives is nothing less than sociality itself: it is an index of how we survive as a society and a species.

This odd dismissal comes from her reducing feminism from its beginning to a largely media celebrated liberal variant of aspirational feminism.Personal contact is constantly squeezed by the market mechanisms of “efficiency” and financial accountability. The provision of care can be routine and repetitive, but at the same time attentive and compassionate. Whether any of this translates into meaningful investment and reform to lift standards of care, and the living standards of caring professionals, is another question. However, at the heart of the book is the care that is central to what makes us human and the best of us as humans. The copyright to all contents of this site is held either by Granta or by the individual authors, and none of the material may be used elsewhere without written permission.

The recruitment and retention of nurses has been damaged by below inflation pay increases from 2010 to 2018, with a shortfall of 108,000 nurses predicted by 2029. After trying her best to cope, a frankly disillusioned graduate, felt obliterated by her job in high-end homes. Bunting argues that ‘care is the feminist issue’ (3) because its burdens fall unevenly on (some) women.She identifies the particular fate of the middle-aged woman still caring for her children and, at the same time, for elderly relatives. It has left more people finally wondering why care itself has been for so long undervalued—paid or unpaid—despite being one of the most valuable of all forms of human labour. Today, the ‘care sector’ is a fast-growing part of the economy and increasingly in the hands of the private sector: ‘Care has become a thing, subject to consumers’ desires, and available as part of a monetary transaction’ (25). Every single person in the country should read this book, to understand some of the experiences of people who work in the health and social care sector, why they do it, and the huge value of the work that they do.

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