The cost of living crisis continues to hit the headlines and impact many of the UK. People struggle to pay bills, fuel, and food costs and are in difficult situations where they must consider looking for higher-income jobs.
With the care sector already predominantly offering low-paid work, care workers nationwide struggle to cope with the rising costs.
Bearing this in mind, the experts on behalf of healthcare quality and compliance software providers Radar Healthcare highlights that during this challenging time, care organisations need to ensure that they are prioritising their workforce, to retain their talent and reduce the workforce crisis and how technology can help to ease this problem?
How is the cost of the living crisis impacting the industry and workforce?
Carers UK’s recent study shows that almost and are having to make cuts on essentials to survive.
The cost of living crisis impacts mental well-being, financial situations, and care workers’ abilities to care for residents to the highest standards.
The Care Workers Charity has reported that since the cost of living crisis, it has seen an increase in crisis grant applications from care workers. Statistics show the vacancy rate is the highest ever recorded (13.5%). The Social Care Workforce: Averting a Crisis discusses the industry’s workforce.
CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity, Karolina Gerlich, says: “The current cost of living crisis is hitting our social care sector hard. Without funding, increases to match the increased cost of groceries, fuel, and energy bills, our care workers often live hand to mouth and must seek support from organisations and charities such as ours to survive.”
“With an already heavily strained workforce living with a still very real Covid pandemic after two years of struggle, this is another blow to the industry.”
Chief executive of Care England, Professor Martin Green OBE, says: “Today’s figures illustrate the true scale of the energy crisis facing adult social care, with providers facing a staggering 683% increase in energy costs over the last 12 months.”
“For gas and electricity, that would have cost £660 per bed per annum this time last year; this week, care providers would have to pay an astonishing £5,166. Representing an additional cost of over £2bn per annum sector-wide, the energy crisis comes when adult social care is already facing the most challenging circumstances in its history.”
What can be done to help retain care workers?
It is always important for organisations to prioritise their current talent, but even more so now.
Hannah Jones, head of People and Culture at Radar Healthcare speaks about how technology helps to gain the ideal work culture, support workers, and alleviate day-to-day challenges.
Have you considered offering flexible online rostering? Long hours and days can lead to workforce burnout, and offering flexibility is essential so that organisations can achieve the right balance between care support, well-being, and maintaining independence.
Building an open culture and communication
Nearly 30% of people in the UK have said that management style and a lack of communication between workers have resulted in them feeling work-related stress and unhappiness at work.
Typically, Care homes work across various systems, including multiple spreadsheets and paper-based documents, making it difficult to track and map improvements, access information quickly, keep up-to-date with procedures and oversee tasks and incidents.
Quality, compliance, and risk management software, like Radar Healthcare, gives teams one central view of all processes, acting as their one source of truth, increasing opportunities for communication and collaboration whilst reducing human error and duplication of work.
Value your workforce
Complaints, incidents, and concerns will always occur in Social Care, and documenting these events and incidents is standard practice to improve and develop and meet basic CQC criteria. However, it is extremely important to create balance.
Care Homes and Providers actively valuing their workers’ hard work and celebrating their successes have seen increased productivity, reduced turnover, and a boost in staff morale.
Radar Healthcare helps workers collate all types of events, including compliments, to allow care workers and professionals to reflect on their hard work and show appreciation.