Social workers are up in arms about the portrayal of a social worker in one of the UK’s favourite TV soaps. Fury over Eastenders’ ‘misleading’ social work storyline – Community Care item. Now, hands up who still thinks it’s a good idea to encourage a soap to introduce telecare or telehealth to the general public?
Soaps are there for drama. If Telecare was put into a storyline it would end up with a 90 year old hanging herself by her pendant; a smoke detector internally combusting and causing a fire; a flood detector going off when a river bursts its banks; an enuresis sensor going off that many times that the carer smashes the receiver into their mum’s head etc.
Similarly with Telehealth – a BP cuff would blow someone’s arm off; a monitoring nurse would not visit because there were no alerts raised but the 17 stone St Bernard had been doing the readings hoping to get someone’s attention for his master who had now been dead for 4 years.
Unless one of the big firms pays for product placement (which they could do) I think it is best left out of the soaps.
Steve! thanks for asking this question I’ve retweeted it! 3MillionLives welcome ideas for engaging the public and generally raising awareness of telecare and telehealth!
We have been banding this one around the office now just need a friendly scriptwriter! and some careful guidance on the story!