The number of empty care jobs has risen by 52% in the past year and there are currently 300,000 vacancies across health and social care, of which 168,000 are within adult social care. These numbers will continue to rise unless a step is taken to change how we value the healthcare system.
We are heading towards the worst staffing crisis in history with governing bodies such as the CQC and RCN stating this could cause severe risk to not only patient safety but staff safety in both routine care and emergency care. Staff shortages are causing more people to be admitted to hospitals who are then unable to be discharged due to limited care workers being available to support those ready to leave. Ultimately blocking up the whole system.
Retention and recruitment are at an all-time low and this will only worsen as the remaining staff have low job satisfaction and experience burnout due to the ageing population continuing to grow. By 2035, there are estimated to be 500,000 extra posts within health and social care to meet this rising demand, and with many care workers (28%) due to reach retirement age in the next 10 years, there is a huge staffing crisis on the horizon.
The average care worker gets £1 an hour less than newly hired NHS health care assistants and care workers with 5 years experience get only 7p more an hour than new recruits.
The Health Foundation Charity have announced that 1 in 5 residential care workers in the UK were already living in poverty before the cost-of-living crisis.
Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC says “a step towards attracting and retaining staff with better pay, job satisfaction, rewards and training linked to career progression needs to be made”. This was echoed by RCN Chief executive, Pat Cullen, who stated that action should be taken to alleviate workforce pressures which can be done by utilising technology and reducing the time needed to be spent on routine tasks.
In order to help combat this staffing crisis, we can prevent those in care homes from being admitted to hospital as frequently by utilising digital technology. Using simple TEC devices, such as Hydracare, can relieve pressure on the NHS and reduce the chances of burnout by allowing staff to provide the high-quality care they are accustomed to. Introducing digital technology into care settings can save staffing time spent on mundane tasks which can then be spent on other caregiving tasks. Click here to find out more about Hydracare.....