“The care sector is desperately short of workers”

In Devon, a county known for having one of the highest proportions of older people among its population, the need for more care workers is beyond urgent.

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A Sidmouth Care Home is doing its bit to take care of its carers:

Staff at Doveleigh Care received self-care packs from the management team last week, complete with chocolates, candles, and more. The packs were distributed to celebrate national Self Care Week, which took place from 15 to 21 November, in recognition of the hard work of Doveleigh Care staff and to promote good self-care.

Sidmouth: Doveleigh Care staff treated to chocolate and candles for National Self Care Week | sidmouth.nub.news

Meanwhile, an Ottery care home is celebrating being recognised by regulators:

King’s Manor Care Home, in Pavey Run, was found by CQC inspectors to offer safe, effective, caring, responsive, and well-led care, with a ‘Good’ rating across all five inspection areas. The care home manager said she was ‘proud’ of the team of ‘caring and committed’ staff, who have worked tirelessly through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Celebrations for care home in Ottery rated ‘Good’ by CQC inspectors | eastdevonnews.co.uk

These care workers are of course to be congratulated. All the more so – because the demands on them are so high.

And there are not enough of them.

Last month, the County Council issued a plea for more carers:

An urgent plea has been issued by Devon County Council to fill the growing number of vacancies in the care sector, with Brexit and the ending of Covid restrictions causing greater problems…. In Devon, a county known for having one of the highest proportions of older people among its population, the need for more care workers is beyond urgent.

Urgent plea issued to help tackle Devon’s shortage of carers | devonlive.com

Council appeals for help as care worker shortage gets worse | devon.gov.uk

And today a report has come out showing how acute the problems are:

Staffing levels in care ‘dangerously low’ with dying residents denied dignified end, says UNISON survey | unison.org.uk

This has been widely covered in the media – which looks at exactly why there are not enough care workers:

‘Social care is experiencing an unprecedented staffing crisis,’ warned UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea. ‘Care workers are leaving in their droves – burnt out from the pandemic, exhausted from covering under-staffed shifts and fed up with low wages. This is nothing short of a nightmare for families worried about the care of their loved ones, overworked employees struggling to cope and employers concerned they won’t have the staff to stay open. The care sector is desperately short of workers and can’t wait months for the government to come up with a solution.’

Care staffing levels are ‘dangerously low’ survey warns | localgov.co.uk

Care home residents ‘dying alone amid dangerously low staffing levels’ | itv.com

Residents of care homes ‘dying alone amid dangerously low staffing levels’ | devonlive.com

Vulnerable care home residents are being left in urine-soaked bed sheets and denied baths because of staffing crisis, UK’s biggest trade union warns — as fears grow that ‘no jab, no job’ policy will cripple sector | dailymail.co.uk

Finally, looking for more answers, in Somerset:

Somerset care home boss blames Brexit for staff shortage | bbc.co.uk

   
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