So the Department of Health has begun its recruitment campaign with three main aims:
Increase interest in adult social care as a job choice;
Increase understanding of the variety of roles in adult social care;
Equip smaller and medium-sized providers with tools to support the campaign.
Care minister Care Caroline Dinenage said there was huge demand for more care professionals.
“We need to spread the word that careers in adult social care can be rewarding, varied and worthwhile,” said Ms Dinenage.
“Care is a vocation where you can make a real difference and every day really is different to the next. As part of our national recruitment campaign we want to work with adult social care providers to recruit the best possible talent and I urge them to advertise their vacancies, so we can help fill as many as possible and build a workforce that is fit for the future.”
Skills for Care chief executive Sharon Allen said the campaign would help employers find people who have the right personal values that will make them great care workers.
“That means people in our communities will be supported by highly motivated and skilled workers,” said Ms Allen.
“I have spent my whole career in adult social care, so I know first-hand the tremendous professional and personal satisfaction that is on offer to anyone who joins us through this campaign.”
Now whilst i agree that within the sector there is a tremendous amount of kind, caring and talented individuals who have taken on the enormous responsibilities, there are also just as many if not more of the same quality who have left the sector after growing increasingly concerned over the state of our healthcare and the resources within.
We are all too familiar with the struggles many providers are facing with being able to provide the quality of care that is required, expected of and more importantly deserved. But do we really think that a campaign such as this is going to resolve those pressures or simply just cover over the cracks without actually dealing with the current issues.
It is well publicised that local council spending had been drastically cut over the last nine years and in turn has reduced the amount of money going into the private sector.
George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said “little job progression, lack of training and perceived lower status compared to similar healthcare roles” were other major issues. “Solely focusing on recruitment, without also addressing staff retention, will severely limit the impact of the campaign,” & Labour’s shadow health minister for social care, Barbara Keeley, said launching a recruitment drive without fixing the underlying cause of staff shortages showed a “stunning lack of self-awareness” from ministers.
The two statements above show that there is at least some level of understanding of what the real problems are but why is there so little being done to address it. As Emma Youe - A Senior Support Worker quoted "A few posters are not going to stop the 400,000 social care workers leaving the profession each year."
So with some of the areas identified that is holding our healthcare sector almost to ransom it is clear that what we first need to do is hold on to the staff we already have but with the average hourly rate for care workers in the private sector at £7.82 per hour, a penny less than the national minimum wage for over 25s it is going to be an almost impossible task, as they too grow tired of the flaws that lie within. But adult social care services still face a £3.5billion funding gap by 2025 just to maintain existing standards of care and many would currently argue that standards are not at the required level. So you can argue as many are that simply focusing on a recruitment drive to get people into the sector is not going to solve the problems.
George McNamara quotes above "lack of training" as one of the many reasons as to why healthcare professionals are leaving and it comes to no surprise that at a time that the nursing bursaries were scraped, government funded qualifications were drastically reduced and with the cost now on employers to plug the gap staff are seeing a reduction in these qualifications being offered. Training providers have seen a reduction in healthcare professionals signing up to courses such a QCF qualifications and have therefore reduced their staffing levels accordingly. There has been an increase in Advanced Learner Loans processed as individuals who strive for career development are having to fund this themselves all with which comes at a cost!
With an increase in the amount of 'sick days' due to stress on the rise it is no wonder that social work activities contributed to 2080 cases per 100,000 and were second only to the education sector in 17/18. There is a direct correlation between the underlying issues in the sector and the increase in stress levels over the years and only one can wonder what the service delivery could be like if the Government finally stumped up the well needed cash injection the sector is begging for. This injection does not have to be a direct handout but by bringing back Nurse Bursaries and reinstating Government funded qualifications it will provide the platform we need to reinstate the confidence needed in our staff and show them that we are committed to their development long term. It will not solve all the issues we are faced but it would be a start.
I recently came across Log My Care and quickly came to realise that there is a reason as to why they have just won Global Health & Pharma's award for Care Planning Software of the Year. Their Software is FREE and so i asked them how they have managed to create this software whilst keeping it free. They pointed me to their blog and this is where it all began "Although Care Software genuinely is a great way to mitigate all of these issues, many care providers just couldn’t afford the expensive software licences and just ‘battled on’ using paper to record care. The other thing we saw a lot of, were care providers struggling to really get to grips with a care system because it was too complicated for their carers and front line staff to actually use. It was a real shame because providers stood to gain so much from going digital – better insight into the care being delivered, big time savings, more 1-2-1 resident care and an easier way to provide evidence to inspectors."
"In the end, we decided to do something about it and set up Log my Care with two simple principles"
Our core product must always be free *check out our promise
We must be ultra-simple to adopt and use
It just goes to show that there are some amazing people out there still fighting tooth and nail for the sake of our healthcare system and it if it was not for these people then our healthcare system may well have already collapsed!
Id love to hear your thoughts on the above but remember people try to keep it PG.