The care sector is not just an important part of the health and social system, but of industry in general. Both nurses and carers work hard around the clock, yet often feel they do not have the same opportunities for learning and development as other areas of the NHS. Despite this, those in social care are a key piece of the puzzle in delivering high-quality nursing to people who feel vulnerable and have a range of complex and individual needs. At times, this is not acknowledged more widely and efforts can be overlooked.
Society would struggle to function without social care workers. Most people take day to day tasks for granted but for many older people, basic things can be a struggle. They need assistance and help with tasks like cleaning and eating, and need to be looked after because they cannot cope alone. This care needs to be accessed, and more strain cannot be put on the system as it is already struggling.
Social Care Crisis – is there one?
The social care industry is in crisis. With an aging population and limited funding, the sector could be on the brink of collapse. There are not enough care workers, and those do work in the industry are may be underpaid. There is a lack of funding to support the needs of people and those who need care are often granted a certain amount of funding with nothing to help them when the money runs out. There are concerns over the financial state of many care homes, with many being paid less by local authorities than is needed to deliver care. How can such a crucial system operate at a loss? Privately paying residents often end up paying more to subsidise publicly funded ones. This is unfair and has also meant that providers are either going out of business or are handing back contracts because delivering services at local authority rates is verging on impossible.
There are a number of issues that need to seriously be looked at. Statistics show that in the last five years, there has been a £160 million cut in total public spending on older people’s social care. There are also 1.2 million people aged 65 plus don’t receive the care provision they need with essential living activities. The cuts in local authority care services have placed growing pressure on voluntary carers.
In addition to these problems, there are also thousands of unfilled vacancies in the social care division. Many community care providers are constantly trying to recruit, with little success. There is also a high turnover rate of 20% across the UK, compared to an average of 15% in other industries. The vacancy rate is also 2% higher than alternative sectors. So, what is the issue here? There needs to be more incentives and reason for people to become care workers. Higher pay, bonuses, more funding and better hours are key in treating the staff like they matter. Campaigns should be loud and noticeable, with case studies from current people in the care sector who enjoy their rewarding job.
If you are considering a career in care, it can be assured that it is one of the most positive and heart-warming industries to work in. It is very rewarding and can help to improve your professional and personal life. The roles are very flexible so suit people who do not want a 9-5. This can fit around other commitments. You can also earn qualifications and gain skills with on the job training. The job is different each day and there are a variety of positions available, so the care industry will never be boring.
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If you are looking for a job within the care sector, the expert team at Star Employment Services can help, submit your CV here.