Laura Sharman 24 November 2021

Care staffing levels are ‘dangerously low' survey warns

Care staffing levels are ‘dangerously low survey warns image

Nearly a third (31%) of care workers have warned staffing levels are ‘dangerously low’, according to a new survey.

The survey of more than 1,600 care employees by UNISON found nearly half of those surveyed (47%) said staffing shortages are having a negative impact on the care provided. Only 1% of workers said there were no serious staffing shortages.

Those surveyed warned dying residents are being denied a dignified end to their lives as there are not enough staff to sit with them in their final hours. Care workers also reported people were denied regular baths or showers or being left in dirty sheets due to a lack of staff.

'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.'

The survey also revealed that 67% of staff were thinking of leaving social care, mainly due to burnout, stress, mental health and wellbeing.

A Department of Health and Social care spokesperson said: 'Care homes and home care providers are now benefiting from the new £162.5m workforce retention and recruitment fund to help ease staffing pressures.

'In addition, the government will invest at least £500m to develop and support the care workforce as part of our £5.4 billion to reform social care.'

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