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Social Care: Waiting in the Wings

Just how accessible are health and social care services? With increasing demand and a dwindling workforce, we look at the causes of - and potential cures for - today’s social care crisis.

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In theory, adult social care should help those in need maintain their independence and well-being. But how many people are really benefiting?

Leading charity Age UK reports 2.6 million people in England aged over 50 are unable to access the care they so desperately need, including hundreds of thousands who are stuck on waiting lists for support.

Meanwhile, hardly a day goes by without at least one news outlet reporting on the rising number of older people left in hospital because there are no care packages available to help them if they come out. Some articles claim as many as 13,000 are ready and waiting to leave, taking up beds and being unnecessarily exposed to hospital-acquired infections.

Ticking time bomb: Lack of social care could trigger increased demand on NHS services

Cuts in local authority care services mean basic social needs are regularly going unmet, which in turn can lead to hikes in emergency room visits, hospitalisation, and institutionalisation. If we don’t provide for older generations, then all of this avoidable pressure won’t make the NHS buckle – it will make it break!

While it’s estimated that 90% of older adults would prefer to be supported in their own homes, there aren’t enough paid carers to go around. We live in a country with a growing, ageing population. The social care crisis isn’t going to improve unless policymakers push it to the top of their health agendas.

With several breakthrough apps already leading the way to more considered social care, experts are anticipating an upcoming change in attitude and approach. But unless there is consistent funding, recognition and support, the social care renaissance cannot take flight.

A plaster over a wound: Funding bung can’t fix staffing shortages

Just recently, the Government pledged up to £200 million of additional funding to immediately buy short-term care placements that would allow people to be discharged safely from hospitals into the community.

It is a start, but it won’t fix a system that is fundamentally broken.

When around one in ten care jobs are currently left vacant, and when around two-fifths of social care workers quit each year, it’s clear the profession isn’t attracting and retaining the talent it so badly needs.

Ripe for reform: Turning caring into a career

Care work can be rewarding. As a society, we should value care workers. And wrongly, caring is rarely viewed as an attractive career choice.

But what’s the answer? Some providers are beginning to scrap zero-hour contracts. Others are increasing pay, so that carers can earn a proper Living Wage, or providing more training and scope for progression. These are all steps in the right direction, but they are steps that should be set in stone by the powers that be.

It is estimated that paid care jobs will have to increase by 36% by 2035 to meet demand. The Government’s recent pledge, whilst lacking, suggests a shake-up of the sector may indeed be in the pipeline.


If you’re looking for a new path, then maybe it is time to consider professional care as an option. Start soon, and you’ll be well-positioned to climb the rungs should policymakers prioritise turning caring into a covetable career choice.

With shorter-term positions offering more, you may not even need to take a pay cut. Plus, you’ll benefit from the job satisfaction of knowing you’re not only helping the people you care for but also supporting the NHS from the ground up.


Reach out to us below to learn more!


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