Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mysterious Creatures

Timothy Spall
Brenda Blethyn
For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for highlighting the needs of carers (care-givers as known in the US)

These are the people (about 7 million on the UK) who give their love and time to family members, relatives or friends who are ill and in need of support.

Carers have been described by some as the ‘invisible army’ of uncomplaining people who provide their care from a sense of duty, obligation and love. It is always unpaid work and usually a 24 hours a day 7 days a week commitment and is generally un-noticed by the rest of the population.

Tonight (Sunday) Annie and I watched on TV a fantastic and moving drama called Mysterious Creatures.
This tells the true story of two parents driven to a suicide pact because of the stress caused by looking after their ill daughter for 24 years with little effective help from the various agencies involved. The father died and the mother survived the suicide attempt. Click here for latest information

This drama in my opinion should be compulsory watching for all NHS and Social Services Managers.

It portrays the ‘helplessness’ carers often face when they are left alone to deal with terrible situations that sadly are experienced by millions of carers in the UK every day.

Timothy Spall and Brenda Blethyn played (brilliantly in my opinion) the parents who were the carers and the message they managed to portray was as powerful as anything I have seen about the plight of carers in 35 years working in the NHS.

I hope this programme will raise the awareness among the population about the needs of carers.

The needs of patients, of course, must always come first – but the needs of carers are paramount and if we do not invest in supporting carers we are surely just burying our heads in the sand.

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