More than half of councils unable to meet all requests for care
Caring Times latest
Almost half councils in the UK (48%) are unable to provide care for everyone who requests it at the first point of asking, according to research conducted by the nursing and care staff agency Prestige Nursing + Care.
Freedom of Information requests submitted to 103 UK councils for the period 1st – 31st January 2015 showed that almost half of Councils were unable to find a care provider to cover all care requests. The number of unfilled hours ranged from 21 hours to 4,124 over the month. The average number of hours not placed at the first point of asking across all councils was 582 per month – equivalent to the hours worked by five additional care workers. When assessing just those councils where not all care was immediately placed, this rose to an average of 1,221 hours per month, equivalent to 10 extra care workers.
Prestige Nursing + Care managing director Jonathan Bruce said there was a clear shortage of carers with councils unable to find providers to cover requested care, something that would only increase as the number of older people in the UK continued to soar.
“Even those in urgent need are in danger of not receiving the care they need,” said Mr Bruce.
“In light of this, it is alarming that only one of the major political parties has set out a clear aim to recruit more care workers and even then it is not clear how this will be delivered. Care and an ageing population should have been a key policy issue in the lead up to the General Election, yet the contenders failed to address one of the key challenges.
“A key reason for the difficulties in recruiting staff is the demanding nature of the job and relatively low pay, impacted by a lack of government funding. There are going to be extraordinary demands on our care services in the years to come and we need action now on providing adequate reward and strong career prospects to those we need so desperately to join the profession.”