Drastic rise in staff shortages put the health of vulnerable people at riskDrastic rise in staff shortages put the health of vulnerable people at risk
23 February 2021
The pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing workforce shortages within the care sector, putting at risk the health and wellbeing of millions of older and vulnerable people that are reliant on care services.
The post-Brexit immigration policy that went live at the beginning of the year made it virtually impossible for care providers to recruit experienced and immediately available staff from the EU. ‘The sector is struggling to meet the growing demand. The shortage of an available and experienced workforce will lead not only to an increase in prices but a deterioration of the quality of care people receive. said Paula Beaney, Quality Assurance Director at Promedica24.
In 2019, there were more than 120,000 full-time vacancies in adult social care, with 78% of all social care jobs being in the private sector. The number of people reliant on care services from companies such as Promedica24, Europe’s largest provider of live-in care, has been growing. When in late 2019, Care Quality Commission admitted the workforce shortage directly impacted on the quality of the care provided, no one imagined that the biggest healthcare crisis was to come a couple months later.
‘Since the outbreak of the pandemic, our care workers have been working extremely hard to ensure we can provide the best and safest care for our most vulnerable. Our carers have enabled hundreds of people to isolate in the comfort of their own homes, limiting the spread of the infection, and so protecting the NHS’, commented Paula Beaney.
‘Unfortunately, since the implementation of the new immigration rules for the EU citizens, health and social care sectors have been facing even greater difficulties in recruiting a suitable workforce. For a long time now, Promedica24 has been warning that the idea promoted by the Home Office that unemployed UK residents can easily fill all the vacancies in the care sector is unrealistic. Despite the Government’s wishes, the reality is that there are not enough people in the UK that want to work in the care sector to meet the growing demand’
Paula Beaney believes that the low interest is driven by lack the of value given to social care jobs by society and a view that care jobs are less important than other types of employment. ‘This narrative has been further fuelled by the introduction of the new immigration policy which has sent a clear message to the public that the Government sees care workers as an unskilled and easily replaceable workforce. Nothing could be further from the truth’, added Paula.
The pandemic further compounds the problem of already severe workforce shortages as, despite the rollout of the vaccine, there are high numbers of care workers off sick or unable to work due to other commitments through lockdown.
As society is ageing, it is estimated that by 2035, between 650,000 and 950,000 additional care jobs would be needed to support older and vulnerable people.
Care workers, like those supplied by Promedica24, have undergone rigorous, comprehensive training, usually supported by years of experience, enabling them to meet the physical and emotional needs of our most vulnerable. This means that workers are particularly competent in supporting people with very specific care needs, such as those living with with dementia, Parkinson’s, mental health needs or mobility impairments, and various forms of cancer.
‘Although the social support campaign, ‘Clap for Our Carers’, was a nice gesture of solidarity with the care sector, the facts are that the warm words of appreciation from the Government were followed by a highly damaging immigration policy that ultimately put even more pressure on an already strained NHS and care sector.
‘Furthermore, whilst the NHS’s ‘People Plan for 2020/21’ stated that looking after health and wellbeing of the staff was the main priority, the Government’s decisions have directly contributed to increased workforce shortages, affecting both the quality and availability of care,’ said Paula Beaney.
Promedica24, Europe’s leading provider of live-in care, is looking to expand their workforce of dedicated and compassionated care workers. The company offers in-depth training and ongoing support, an attractive remuneration package and opportunities for career progression. Applications can be made via Promedica24’s website.
If you would like to find out more or access our services, please visit promedica24.co.uk to use our online chat service. You can also get in touch with our team on 0800 086 8686 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to assess your care and support needs rapidly online, we have a tool available for you to do this.
We can provide live-in care services across the whole of England and we would also encourage you to visit our testimonials page to read what our clients and their families have said about our services.