In Victorian society the workhouse represented the underbelly of society, where anyone who was poor, homeless, unemployed or ill was sent to live.

With no benefits system in place, destitute people were either left to starve on the streets or forced to submit themselves to the harsh conditions of the workhouse where they worked ten hours a day doing menial tasks such as breaking rocks up or picking apart ropes.

In this two part series, presenter Fern Britton, actress Kiera Chaplin, actor Brian Cox, actress Felicity Kendal and author Barbara Taylor Bradford go back to the sites of the workhouses where their ancestors lived to find out what happened to them.

Secrets from the Workhouse - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2013-06-25

Secrets from the Workhouse - Nursing home care in the United Kingdom - Netflix

In 2002, nursing homes in the United Kingdom became known as care homes with nursing, and residential homes became known as care homes. In the United Kingdom care homes and care homes with nursing are regulated by separate organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To enter a care home, a candidate patient needs an assessment of needs and of their financial condition from their local council. The candidate may also have an assessment by a nurse, should the patient require nursing care.

Secrets from the Workhouse - Private nursing homes - Netflix

Before 1914 those who could afford private nursing care were generally looked after in their own homes, but in the 1920s that began to change. In 1921 there were 25,981 patients in nursing and convalescent homes. In the 1931 census there were 54,920. The standards of nursing care, however, were low. In Britain in the 1950s and 60s, the quality of nursing care steadily improved, with the mandatory introduction of central heating, single rooms and en-suite lavatories. In the 1980s a significant shift from the public sector provision of elderly care to private sector homes occurred, with the proportion of private facilities increasing from just 18% in 1980 to 85% by the end of the century. In 1977 there were 1,249 Registered Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes in the UK with 34,546 beds. These figures include 117 private hospitals with facilities for surgery. There were at that time 116,564 people aged 65 or over in residential accommodation provided by or on behalf of local authorities, compared with 51,800 patients in NHS hospital departments of geriatric medicine. There is concern that fees paid to private care homes are insufficient to provide adequate quality care. Rises in fees paid by councils have not kept pace with rising costs of care. This led to falling standards and many care homes are closing. Professor Martin Green of 'Care England', urged the government to take “urgent action” and provide extra funding to councils and ring-fence that funding for social care. Green stated, “We have been warning about these problems for some time. There is a lot of churn in the sector. Contracts changing hands as providers leave and services stopping. There is simply not enough money in the system.” There has been a steady increase in number of care home providers entering insolvency from 35 in 2012-13 to 47 in 2014-15. Nursing home care can sometimes be seriously inadequate.

Secrets from the Workhouse - References - Netflix