This winter threatens to be exceptionally tough for adult social care. ‘Perfect storm’ may be a bit of a cliché but it’s hard to know what else to call it.
A highly competitive jobs market means that many care workers have found better paid and less demanding work elsewhere. Recruitment from overseas is almost impossible because of the £25,600 qualifying salary. And on top of this ‘no jab, no job’ will disqualify many existing staff from working in care homes.
A recent survey of more than 2,000 services by the NCF found that 74% of providers have seen an increase in staff exits since April 2021, with 50% of workers leaving due to stress and 44% finding better pay elsewhere.
If demand for services was going down there would be less of a problem. But we know that’s not the case. For a variety of reasons, including long covid and delayed medical procedures, demand for adult social care continues to rise – particularly for home care.
A Service at Breaking Point
The chair of the Homecare Association recently described the care workforce crisis as ‘ the worst I’ve ever seen.’ Meanwhile the Chair of Care England has spoken about ‘a service at breaking point.’
Care England urged the government to offer the care sector immediate assistance by expanding the workforce by recruiting from abroad and reducing the qualifying level for overseas recruitment for social care staff. The obvious point here is that this would be a massive about-turn for the Government and, all in all, not very likely.
Even if care workers were added to the shortage occupations list and the rules were relaxed tomorrow, how many would want to come? And how long would it take for them to get here and for providers to validate competences and deploy the additional staff?
Could More Efficient, Flexible Care Brokerage Help?
Care brokerage teams know exactly what’s coming. Placing care packages will become harder and the frequency with which packages are ‘handed back’ could easily go through the roof. Although everybody is focused on what happens at the frontline of care, it’s in the brokerage process that issues in care provision become concentrated.
For any local authority or commissioning organisation that has been considering using technology to make care brokerage more efficient, now is the time to act.
The eBrokerage by UDMS solution is a cloud-based platform that streamlines the brokerage process. It replaces all of the time-consuming and cumbersome emails, spreadsheets and phone calls of the traditional brokerage process with a simple, secure and rapid online marketplace.
The highly flexible eBrokerage by UDMS solution can be implemented within a few weeks and is easy to procure through the G-Cloud 12 framework, via Ulysses eBrokerage Cloud Software.