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The effect COVID-19 is having on staffing pressures in Social Care

The current staffing pressures…

The social care market is worth 21.3bn, coupled with this social care has been consistently in the top three in-demand sectors, in recruitment terms, for the past 10 years. Vacancies in adult social are rising, currently totalling 110,000, this means 1 in 11 care roles are unfilled.

If the adult social care workforce grows proportionality to the projected number of people aged 65 and over, then the number of adult social care jobs will increase by 36% (580,000 jobs) to around 2.2m jobs by 2035. Using these assumptions, this will mean there will be 36,363 additional new vacancies to fill.

Coupled with the impact from Brexit, alongside the new points immigration system and the impact this will have on low skilled workers, and now with COVID-19 and the announcement of a second national lockdown that will commence this week, the pressure that the sector is under will be untenable.

 

The effect COVID-19 is having on the current pressures…

In conjunction to the staffing pressures the sector is already under, there is still talk of a law to be passed that will stop staff movement in and between care settings and organisations are to be encouraged to keep the same staff on-site and not use bank staff.

Even though it is understandable for this law to be passed in order to slow down the transmission of the virus between care settings; in response to this, Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, said: “There is a huge number of vacancies within social care and a horrifying 30% annual rate of churn, so the challenge is how can we provide good care in a way that is consistent with infection control. Considering the impact, too, of having staff members needing to self-isolate because a family member contracts the virus; you can see how hard it is for care homes to remain adequately staffed.”

 

How can Social Care services remain adequately staffed?

At this point in time, agency staff can still be used as a backup and a way to fill any staff shortages you may be facing during the pandemic, and we have prepared for this outcome. We take the safety of the individuals you support extremely seriously. Through our updated COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan and Risk Assessment, these help us manage our resources internally so that we can continue to provide a safe, robust and continuous service for all of our customers.

Our COVID-19 Risk Assessment assesses how we will minimise cross-infection between customer sites during the COVID-19 pandemic through; agreed contracts with customers for regular workers to attend one site for the period of the contract, where contracts are not in place, then AJ will limit where possible the numbers of sites/organisations that a temporary worker visits. The local and national guidance will always be followed and complied with.

If you would like a copy of our COVID-19 Risk Assessment please don’t hesitate to ask, and if you would like to discuss how we can help in relation to any of the current pressures you may be facing, please do get in touch.

 

How can AJ Help?

As a specialist, family-run recruitment business, we support organisations to target issues such as continuity of staffing, reducing spend where you have a high volume of agency usage and supporting those who have specific talent requirements or are in hard to fill locations. We can help with any immediate staffing requirements or longer-term recruitment projects to ultimately save you time and money on agency spend. Click here to see what our clients say about how we have supported them throughout the pandemic.