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Thousands being turned away from care due to staffing crisis

Vic Rayner – high res (003)

Thousands of people are being turned away from care services due to the staffing crisis engulfing social care.

A survey by the NCF and The Outstanding Mangers Network estimates that approximately 5,000 people have been turned away from care since 1 September.

The survey, which covered 340 registered managers running services that employed 21,314 staff and supported 15,450 people across a broad range of care services, found an average staff vacancy rate of 17%.

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More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents said they have had to limit or stop admissions into care homes or refuse new requests for domiciliary care.

This includes 33% who said they had limited or stopped admissions from hospital.

Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of National Care Forum, (pictured) said: “These findings make uncomfortable reading and offer evidence of the stark reality being experienced by care providers and registered managers on the ground, and of the pressure they are under every day to provide care and support to the people who rely on them.

“The significance of this data means that people are not being discharged from hospital when they need to, to continue care and treatment at home or in residential care settings. And providers are having to make very difficult decisions about who they can support – sometimes resulting in people with high or complex needs not getting access to the care and support they desperately need. This cannot continue – it has to stop now.”

The NCF is calling on the government to act now by: paying a retention bonus to recognise staff who have worked tirelessly over the last 18 months; fund a pay increase for all care staff to improve recruitment and reduce the numbers leaving; add care workers to the Shortage Occupation List for a limited time; create a new fully funded, flexible dedicated workforce; and delay the implementation of mandatory vaccinations in care homes.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We appreciate the dedication and tireless efforts of care workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We are providing at least £500 million to support the care workforce as part of the £5.4 billion to reform social care.

“We are also working to ensure we have the right number of staff with the skills to deliver high quality care to meet increasing demands. This includes running regular national recruitment campaigns and providing councils with over £1 billion of additional funding for social care this year.”

 

Tags : National Care ForumRecruitment
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The author Lee Peart

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