95 per cent of adult social care providers ‘struggling to recruit and retain staff’, latest surveys reveal

An overwhelming majority of independent providers of adult social care throughout England are struggling to recruit and retain staff, surveys have revealed.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Saturday, 25th December 2021, 11:36 am
Updated Saturday, 25th December 2021, 11:36 am

This came following a recent report by Sheffield City Council, which highlighted how providers were under 'significant strain' following the COVID-19 pandemic and were reporting enduring and increasing issues, particularly relating to staff wellbeing and burnout.

Overworked homecare workers reported that the rising demand for services was the worst they had seen in decades, and that recruitment was at an 'all-time low.'

In a study conducted by Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers, over 95 per cent of independent providers are struggling to recruit and retain staff.

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In a study conducted by Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers, over 95 per cent of independent providers are struggling to recruit and retain staff.

When asked in the first survey if members were struggling to recruit staff, prior to the implementation of Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment, 100 per cent of responses indicated that they were.

The second survey indicated a less than five per cent reduction in this struggle despite the introduction of a greater degree of centralised support, including £300 million to help providers recruit and retain staff.

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The second survey indicated that the reasons for difficulties in staff recruitment included a lack of an available workforce for providers to recruit from, negative press around the sector leading to a poor perception of social care, low rates of pay and the fact that there are no rewards or bonuses for care staff to incentivise work.

High competition with other sectors, such as retail and hospitality, which are able to offer higher pay rates than social care cannot compete with and insufficient funding from the government or local authorities to help recruitment into social care are also cited as among the main reasons.

Professor Martin Green, OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: "A stable social care sector is the bedrock of the NHS; it is, however, evident that the challenges in recruitment remain insurmountable.

As a critical friend to the government, we want to work with them to ensure that any available funds reach the frontline and don’t get caught up in a tangle of bureaucracy or syphoned off.

"Our workforce is our best resource, and we need to treasure it at all costs."