New research on care home workforce highlights critical recruitment, retention and sustainability concerns

Today (Monday 17 July), Scottish Care has published its most recent data on the independent sector care home workforce in Scotland.

The membership organisation for independent sector social care services – which represents almost 1000 care home, care at home, housing support and day care services for older people – surveyed its care home members on issues such as recruitment and retention of staff, payment of the Scottish Living Wage and the sustainability of services.

The findings, contained in this new report, include:

  • 42% of care home services believe paying SLW has made them less sustainable
  • Average turnover of staff in care homes is 22%, up from 17% in 2015
  • 79% of care homes have found recruitment of nurses more difficult (with 21% significantly increasing their use of agency staff)
  • 77% of care homes have staff vacancies
  • 44% of care homes rely on the EU as a recruitment pool for care staff, with 63% recruiting nurses from the EU which will potentially be significantly impacted by Brexit

Scottish Care CEO, Dr Donald Macaskill said:

“This significant report is the latest piece of research produced by Scottish Care which highlights the critical stage the care home sector finds itself in Scotland. Whilst there is much to be positive about in the description of dedicated care and support, the research also depicts a sector holding on by its fingertips. 

 “We are struggling to recruit new staff and hold on to existing staff. There is a shortage of nurses which is little short of scandalous. There is a wholly inadequate resourcing of initiatives such as the Scottish Living Wage. Put simply, care homes cannot continue to survive on the breadline. 

 “Discussions on reform are coming to a critical stage. I hope this research sharpens the minds of all involved to realise that unless we identify real positive actions which include an adequate funding of care homes, we will be in a state which will be irretrievable. 

 “There is at the moment a small number of care homes closing because they simply cannot survive. It is incumbent on government at local and national level to recognise the real dangers this sector faces today and to respond accordingly or within the year, we will be faced with a real emergency.

“We cannot continue to get care on the cheap.”

 

To read the report, click here.

To view the accompanying report infographic, click here.

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