More than 900 adult social care workers a day quit their job in England last year, new figures reveal. Service providers warn that growing staff shortages mean vulnerable people are receiving poorer levels of care. In a letter to the prime minister, the chairman of the UK Homecare Association said the adult social care system – which applies to those over the age of 18 – has begun to collapse. The government said an extra £2bn is being invested in the system. An ageing population means demand is increasing for adult social care services. Those who provide care to people directly in their own homes, or in nursing homes, say a growing shortage of staff means people face receiving deteriorating levels of care. “You just can’t provide a consistent level of care if you have to keep recruiting new people”, said Sue Gregory, who has been a care home nurse in North Yorkshire for 13 years. “Its very simple, not many people want to do this kind of work, and this is a profession that relies on
Social care companies ‘profiteering’ on the backs of the most vulnerable, says Burnham : Welfare Weekly.
I agree that social care and related health should be administered by one just one authority, but should it be health or social services or should a completely new authority be formed.
As to whether independent social care providers are profiteering from the system I am not too sure for to have quality care does cost.
If Andy Burnham is stating that these social care providers should be run by either social services or health rather than independently, this I would seriously contest. The reason being than generally the most expensive providers are run by these authorities as the lowest paid would generally be paid no less than the Living Wage as opposed to the National Living Wage, their pensions would generally be better as these may still be based on final salaries as to contribution as is the newly created work portable pensions which are being rolled out to all employees who are currently not in a pensionable employment.
The management structures will generally be more expensive to run than in a private provider, but this would depend on the extent of the profit being extracted by the owners from their care company. But with the current state of social services and health finances due to Government austerity cuts the scope for excessive profits are being restrictive.
With regards to zero hours contracts and I agree that they should not used in practice, Local Authorities do use these for some of their workforce, but I am not sure about health.
What should be occurring is zero contracts should be outlawed, everyone should be paid at least the Living wage, which would make the National Living wage redundant. In addition retain the independent providers, but insist on a effective quality control system, which should be independently monitored outwith the care provider, be they independent, Local Authority or health.
There are currently local independent HealthWatch organisation in all localities who do, at present, monitor Care home, GP surgeries, Pharmacies, Dentists and Opticians. Their remit should be extended to day services and all other care providers and their powers should be strengthened, for at present they can not insist to look at records kept by the respective organisations, unless the organisations offer them to the Enter and View representatives. Also they can only state recommendations, but these should be extended to be more than voluntary for the care providers to follow them.
Then the HealthWatch visits would be more on a par to the CQC (Care Quality Commission) inspections.
leading social care group is writing an urgent letter to commissioners amidst fears that providers could close due to the introduction of the National Living
Chairman of the Care Workers Charity, Dr Asif Raja, a former junior doctor, said “Social Care providers and Care Workers of the country will, as they do, day in
Government urged to protect the elderly as providers face financial squeeze from falling fees and rising wages
Ministers are under mounting pressure to pump more money into care for the elderly as investigations by the Observer reveal how some of the largest providers may have to pull out of supplying services because of an escalating financial crisis.
Before chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement on 25 November, Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative chair of the all-party Commons select committee on health, is calling for the government to act, saying that social care providers are reeling from rising costs and declining fees from cash-strapped local authorities.
Meanwhile, the head of Care England, which represents independent care providers, claims that the care home sector is heading for a bigger crisis than the steel industry, while Chai Patel, the boss of one of Britain’s largest care home operators, HC-One, says half of Britain’s care homes could go bust.
Seasons has to make a £26m interest payment in December, but is losing money under the weight of £500m of debt.
Four Seasons has insisted that it can make the payment, but bosses at rival companies warned that the industry was under unsustainable pressure.
In the home care sector, where specialists look after the elderly in their own properties, the United Kingdom Homecare Association cautioned that leading providers could pull out of 55,125 care hours and 33 contracts because of the shortfall between the cost of care and the amount local authorities were paying for the service.
Wollaston, a former GP, said she supported the new national living wage and moves to pay transport costs to carers, but added that the government had to recognise that both measures would increase the costs of care.
“There has been a longstanding gap in funding for social care and this will become much more severe if there is not adequate recognition of the rising costs the sector will face as a result of the living wage. Otherwise, we will see more care providers pulling out of the sector,” she said.
Many problems result from the fact that local authorities, which have suffered funding cuts of more than 40% since 2010, cannot offer enough to make contracts attractive or, in many cases, viable. Many providers are turning to the private market as an alternative, where they can.
Martin Green, the head of Care England, said the crisis would lead to more people ending up in hospitals and Patel, whose company runs 250 care homes, said he had given research to the government that showed that half of care homes could disappear.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We know the system is under pressure and we’ve given extra money to support it but working in better, smarter ways is key to dealing with our growing ageing population. Since April, our £5.3bn Better Care Fund has been getting local NHS and councils working together to keep people well and living independently, which saves money in the long term. The overall costs of providing social care will be considered as part of the spending review later this year and we are working with the care sector on this.”
The Local Government Association has admitted that there is likely to be a £2.9bn shortfall in social funding care by the end of the decade and has called on the government to take action. Izzi Seccombe, LGA community wellbeing spokeswoman, said: “Only with a properly and adequately resourced adult social care system can we address the growing concerns about the state of an increasingly fragile provider market.”
As care homes prepare for the extra cost of paying Osborne’s new national living wage, research by KPMG has revealed that just under 6 million Britons, or 23% of the workforce, are being paid less than the current living wage. That proportion is even higher among young people, with 72% of 18 to 21-year-olds earning less than the level judged as sufficient. ………..’