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‘The care system will face a ‘tsunami of unmet needs’ in the upcoming winter months, a watchdog has warned.’ (https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/care-system-tsunami-of-unmet-needs-winter-crisis-watchdog-cqc/)
This comes as health and social care employees are experiencing tougher working conditions and being at over capacity during the pandemic. This has caused staff retention and recruitment to deteriorate.
The CQC will receive a £5.4 billion pledge from the Government for the sector, with the hope to enable new ways of working.
Working within senior level recruitment consultancy, operating largely across Healthcare and Nursing, we turned to our network and asked for their thoughts in our recent poll. We asked, what do you think needs to be addressed first as an immediate action to improve the system?
The results were as follows:
- Better training - 21%
- Clearer career-paths - 4%
- Increased pay - 58%
- Better terms/conditions - 17%
Despite ‘increased pay’ earning most of our participants votes, at closer inspection it is apparent that it is not as simple as giving one variable immediate attention. It is firstly worth suggesting that the funding cannot be used to improve current ways of working within the sector, but to use the funding to change existing regulations and policies.
In this way, Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive of CQC, said ‘If the new Government funding is to have an impact, it needs to be used to do things differently and to develop genuinely collaborative ways of working across all care settings. All staff need to be supported and rewarded’.
Furthermore, it has been reported that demoralised healthcare workers are leaving the sector and low pay and working conditions mean new staff cannot be recruited. The healthcare sector is coming up against tourism and hospitality, with higher pay and better career prospects. In connection, implementing better training not only improves the care for people that need it, but also ensures that employees are able and better equipped to handle their daily tasks. In turn, this may improve the longevity of the sectors employees and increase internal recruitment.
It is also suggested that setting clearer progression routes may also increase the stability of the sector. Similarly, Ian Trenholm further explained that the workforce needed better pay, training, conditions, and stability and to see social care as somewhere that is an ‘exciting and vibrant’ place to work as a long-term career choice.
Arguably, the mentioned variables are all connected and will contribute to improved terms and conditions, if treated in cohesion. Simply put, if the system doesn’t change, social care will continue to lose staff to other sectors outside of the industry, leading to poorer quality of care.
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