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I am not the only client my home-care worker has who doesn't want workers coming in when they have colds or influenza (or anything likely to be contagious). When you have chronic medical problems and you're sick to start with, and maybe you're on a truckload of things that effect your immune system, it's a reasonable request.

My home-care worker is recovering from a cold. A few days ago, when the cold was in full swing, she was supposed to visit a client who has also said she doesn't want contagious people coming in.

When she told her boss that she was unwell with a cold, her boss advised her to tell the client in question that she had hayfever. I believe she did not, and took time off instead.


I don't remember the outcome, but I also know she had trouble getting time off to get the Swine 'flu vaccine. Health care people like her are considered one of the most important groups to get vaccinated.

I am in a bind here. This sucks beyond belief but I do not want to get this woman in trouble. If I speak up, she'll be in for it. And *she* isn't the one behaving badly.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2009 09:58 am (UTC)
her boss advised her to tell the client in question that she had hayfever

That's appalling. If a patient has a compromised immune system, a health care worker has a duty of care to not put that patient at risk. The boss has effectively said "I don't care about your patient (or I think they're a hyperchondriac who isn't really sick) and I care more about you making me money".

I wonder if you could perhaps ask the boss what their policy is on carer's having potentially contagious infections and patients who have compromised immune systems? Maybe also what their policy is on staff having regular vaccinations.

I remember when I was working at the uni that all the nursing and medicine students were required to have a complete set of vaccinations before they could do clinical placements. Not sure what the legal requirements are for private care providers though.
Nov. 11th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC)
I don't deal with the care agency, my care provider does.

They'll have policies. They'll also have statements about respecting their clients and treating them with dignity - it'll be on their website somewhere. And that conversation will never have happened, but my carer will mysteriously lose all her shifts...

Also, the last time I started seriously pushing harder for proper care, my suitability for my ongoing care package was questioned.

I am however, going to mention it to my case manager at the next review. As a general statement about the care agency she's using.

Nov. 11th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
I am shocked on so many levels! I'm sorry you are having these obstacles put in your way. Good luck.
I wonder if WorkCover and/or an ombusdman can help? (Just thinking out loud really)
Nov. 11th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
I remember having issues like that with my mom and the occasional carer my dad would get for her on rare occasions.
It's just appalling the way the agencies work sometimes.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 11th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
That's dreadful, and I appreciate that complaining about it isn't going to make it better. Would it be a better compromise to tell your carer that if she's sick she can sit in your garden for the duration of her shift and pretend she's done it? I realise that means you don't get the care, but it might be better than catching her cold.
Nov. 11th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
I'd try to get to higher management. Surely they wouldn't condone "infection = hayfever".
What an absolute ratarse of a 'daily' manager who told the carer that. And the poor carer, to be put in that situation.

The council just ignores my request about that issue. I just watch suspiciously whenever one arrives and if they look sick, I question them and then maybe send them away and call the council in a grouchy mood and ask for a re-schedule.
(no subject) - shehasathree - Nov. 15th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 27th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
Oh, that sucks! I agree that you don't want to risk getting her in trouble... but does her boss perhaps have a manager you could speak to?

Without mentioning this specific incident, you might stress to the company the importance of not sending sick workers to people with compromised immune systems, and perhaps ask that they require their workers to get regular flu vaccinations?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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