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Social care ‘on its knees’ as vacancies hit record high

Social care services face an “absolute crisis” over record vacancies as unfilled jobs have risen by more than 50% in a year, a new analysis reveals.

New data on social care workers shows at least 165,000 vacancies across adult social care providers at the end of 2021-22.

This is the highest on record according to the charity Skills for Care, which has collected the data since 2012.

Leading think tanks have warned the figures to point to the “absolute crisis” facing social care with the “system on its knees”.

At the same time the demand for care has risen, highlighting that social care is facing a complex challenge with recruitment and retention which will be impacting on the lives of people who need social care. The annual report by Skills for Care predicts social care services will need an extra 480,000 workers by 2035 to meet the demand but could be set to lose 430,000 staff to retirement over the next decade.

Simon Bottery, senior fellow at The King’s Fund, said the report was evidence “of the absolute crisis social care faces when trying to recruit staff, a crisis that has profound consequences for people needing care”.

He added: “A key reason for that is pay, which continues to lag behind other sectors including retail and hospitality, as well as similar roles in the NHS. Our recent analysis found that nearly 400,000 care workers would be better paid to work in most supermarkets."

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Source: The Independent, 11 October 2022


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