To mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS and social care, Hounslow House will turn blue this weekend and the Council is highlighting the stories of individuals who provide care.

Two acts of Parliament implemented in 1948 made it the responsibility of the Government to provide a comprehensive health care service, and the responsibility of local authorities to provide accommodation and care for those who through infirmity, age, or any other reason, were in need of support.

The NHS Act, which led to the foundation of the NHS on the 5 June 1948, and the National Assistance Act, implemented in parallel to the NHS, transformed the lives of millions and the legacy of both lives on today.

Paying tribute to carers in Hounslow

Coronavirus has helped to highlight the enormous contribution of individuals whose vital work often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves and none more so than carers, who continue to do so much to protect the vulnerable and sick in these challenging times. Hounslow Council has been speaking to carers in the borough.

Mandy Green works for Westminster Homecare which enable clients to stay in the comfort of their own homes. They provide care and support as well as building and growing relationships and putting a smile on someone’s face. They may be the only person that a client sees that day, so they take the time to listen and talk to them. The role requires reliability, commitment and professionalism.

Mandy, who lives in Hounslow West, said she hasn’t looked back since training to become a care worker nine years ago: “I absolutely love my job. No day is the same. I was inspired to follow a career in care after supporting my dad, who had cancer. The small things we did made such a difference to him and I wanted to be able to help others in similar situations.”

The mother-of-four is able to fit her work around other commitments: “When the children were young, I could choose my availability, so I could pick them up from school, which was great.” Mandy began in her role by shadowing another care worker and received on-the-job training. There is plenty of opportunity for development and career progression, but Mandy prefers the face-to-face contact she has with clients.

Mandy says no day is the same for her: “If you like working with people, caring for them, having fun and being an important part of a client’s life, then care work is definitely the right job for you.

“I wouldn’t call it work because I get so much out of it. I have built up a very close rapport with my clients and their families. One client I work with used to sing professionally so we often sing together and make each other laugh. I enjoy talking to my clients and hearing about their lives and experiences.”

For some people, their families may not live close by, so having a good relationship with their care worker is important. Being friendly and professional, as well as showing a bit of humour, can make even the most difficult tasks straight forward. “I provide a wide range of support which could be anything from cleaning to cooking or providing personal care. The most important thing is that the client trusts and likes you and you have a good relationship with them.”

The work of more carers will be highlighted during Glad to Care Awareness Week which runs from 6-12 July.

Cllr Atterton, Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Health, said: “One positive that has come from this difficult period is the recognition of the hard work of health and care workers. That recognition is long overdue, and Hounslow Council is proud to celebrate health and care workers by marking the 72nd birthday of the NHS. We will be by turning Hounslow House blue this weekend and we will all be out to clap on Sunday.”

Two ways to say ‘thank you’ to clinicians and carers

Hounslow Council invites residents to join the national clap at 5pm on Sunday to show support for the tireless work of the NHS, clinicians, carers and community volunteers.

The Mayor of Hounslow has also invited residents to ‘Gift a Geranium’ to a care home of their choice within the borough. Further details can be found on the Mayor’s pages.