Healthcare recruitment and retention crisis, Sue Bowler


I was not surprised to read this morning that there are a very large number of vacancies in the care sector and employers are struggling to retain staff. I saw this firsthand.

As a protective court assistant responsible for managing the financial affairs of people who do not have the mental capacity to do it themselves, I am the employer of a large number of caregivers for clients with disabilities. I can’t remember a time in my career when it was so difficult to recruit and retain healthcare workers, even in the private sector where you can usually afford to pay higher rates than in the public sector. .

Working in a health care facility is hard work and often comes with a significant responsibility for the person being cared for. Staff shortages are also putting additional pressure on those working in the sector – to work overtime or perform additional duties. More and more social workers are leaving the sector for “easier” jobs. I have personal experience of staff leaving to work in the local supermarket as the work is less demanding and the salaries can now be compared.

For those who depend on social assistance provided by local authorities, things can be even more difficult. Social care teams are all overburdened and lack the funding necessary to fully provide those in need of care. There are delays in care assessments, regular changes in affected social workers, and I have seen cases where the care provided is inadequate for the complex needs of the individual.

Brexit has also had an impact, with fewer people arriving in the UK for care jobs.

There are no easy solutions to any of these challenges, but again the current situation highlights the struggles people in need of care face on a daily basis.