Social care sector faces staffing crisis

More than one million more staff will be needed in the social care sector over the next 20 years, according to property consultant JLL.

JLL’s research paper, The Social Care Deficit: All Our Futures says 485,000 more staff will be required over the next 10 years, with a further 737,000 required in the following decade.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 You & Yours, Ollie Saunders, lead director, JLL Alternatives, said: “The UK is woefully unprepared to meet the challenges presented by its growing aging population and staffing is clearly an issue that needs addressing. The problem is simply not going to disappear.

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“Our analysis paints a stark picture and highlights the risk of a two tier care home market with much needed investment only focused on areas of affluence and with a sustainable workforce.  The sector needs to provide a wider range of elderly care options, such as less staff intensive retirement housing, but also deliver more support for the growing network of informal carers who provide care at home.”

With the number of people aged over 85 expected to more than double to 3.2m by 2036, JLL predicts demand for care home beds to grow by 77% to 806,000 from 456,000 today.

JLL says £47bn of new investment in care homes will be required to meet this demand.

Eamonn Meadows, Associate Director, JLL Alternatives, added: “The geographical distribution of the potential social care workforce will be markedly unequal. Whilst London and the South East will be more secure for both investment and staffing, parts of Wales and Scotland could be facing serious labour shortages in the absence of internal or external migration.”

Skills for Care predicted yesterday that 500,000-700,000 new jobs would be required in the sector by 2030.

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