New report reveals struggles in social care
A report from Skills for Care was released this week: "The state of the adult soical care sector and workforce in England 2022" that sent a clear warning that not only is the social care sector struggling to recruit, but also retain care workers.
Skills for Care is a strategic workforce development and planning body for adult social care in England. They released a paper this week that highlighted: "the number of vacant posts in adult social care have increased by 52% in one year and it is now the highest rate since records began".
The report noted that whilst there has been payrises for care workers, the average pay rates are still some of the lowest in the economy, in fact, more than 80% of jobs in England pay more than the average independent care worker wage.
Retaining and growing the country's number of care workers is becoming critical, the report warns that "We may need an extra 480,000 people working in social care by 2035 to keep pace with demand. In addition, we may lose a further 430,000 people in the next 10-years if
those aged 55 and over decide to retire."
Many people who work in social care find it incredibly rewarding. Ategi has a support worker who joined after working in finance: "Being a support worker is the opposite of working in finance, where everything is about money. Ategi is about caring for people...the people I have supported have become part of my family." However, with growing vacancies in the sector this puts extra pressure on existing care/ support workers and can impact on their ability to deliver high standards of care and support. If more of these posts were filled, providers would be able to deliver support to more people and maintain higher ratios of staff to people receiving care.
Having a strong and resiliant social care sector is vital to any society, so the content in this report should deeply concern everyone.
A government spokesperson said: “We’re investing in adult social care and have made £500m available to support discharge from hospital into the community and bolster the workforce this winter, on top of record funding to support our ten-year plan set out in the People at the heart of care white paper.
“Tens of thousands of extra staff have also joined up since we added care workers to the Health and Care Worker Visa and the Shortage Occupation List.
“The government is backing recruitment at home and abroad – with a £15 million international recruitment fund and a new domestic campaign launching shortly.”
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