Care in Crisis
There are 100,000 job vacancies across the care sector. Just take a moment and let that sink in. Now imagine how much care that represents, that is simply not being delivered. How many elderly people are waiting? Waiting for over-worked carers to arrive? Waiting for a bed in the care home that they desperately need? Waiting to be discharged from hospital for a care package to allow them to live independently at home? Waiting for a home care company to have enough staff to fit them in? Waiting…
This is not a temporary crisis; this is not a supply chain glitch that will be ironed out in a few months. Phil Ashwell, director at Ashwell Home Care Services, says “We are in a perfect storm. The combination of the pandemic, Brexit, and the double jab ruling for care home workers has created this crisis.” The media have not helped with their endless portrayal of the care industry as failing, as a low-skilled sector, as a last resort. Actually, it is none of those things.
The care sector is remarkable. It is kind, compassionate, dedicated. It allows you to progress without a degree, it welcomes everyone. In the care sector, you can work your way up from a care assistant to an area team leader. It is flexible and dynamic. In what other sector can you work around your life? It is rewarding and fulfilling. There are thousands of people across the country who are living a better life because of the care sector. Thousands of people, of all ages, greeting their carers with a smile, looking forward to seeing them. Thousands of people receiving care to help them live the best life they can, because of the care sector. The care sector is incredible.
But what can you do? How can you help to ensure that our care sector continues to do what it does best – care. You can talk about it with your family, to your children looking for careers, to your neighbour who wants a part-time job, to the waitress in the café with the overbearing boss looking for a change in direction. And you can say, what a wonderful thing to be able to do, to help people, to make an actual difference in the lives of others. How many get that opportunity, how many of us get that chance?
Phil says, “The care sector is resilient. Carers will deliver care when faced with enormous adversity, from snowstorms to pandemics. But we do need more people.” Ashwell Home Care Services does have enough care staff, but only because they keep their care staff, by treating them with respect and appreciation, as well as paying above the industry average. “We have seen the number of applicants drop off, by 80%, which makes finding the right people incredibly hard,” says Phil. “Fortunately, we have a reputation as a good employer, so we still have people wishing to work for us, which means that we can continue to deliver excellent care to those who need it most.”
If you are in the Worcester area and interested in a career in care then we would love to hear from you, take a look at our careers page to find out more.