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Social care system 'beginning to collapse' as 900 carers quit every day

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From the BBC.

I don’t wish to make light of the whole topic, but I am always suspicious of ”big scary numbers” in headlines, or headlines containing the words “collapse” or “black hole” for that matter. Or a government spokesman saying that they are “investing £2 billion” when they mean “spending £2 billion” and there is no mention of timeframe, whether this is the total spend, or an increase to existing spend, in which case we need the change adjusted for inflation.

The BBC reports the nub of the issue in the article:

Data gathered by the charity Skills for Care, shows that in 2015-16 there were more than 1.3 million people employed in the adult social care sector in England.

Analysing the data, BBC News has found that… An estimated 338,520 adult social care workers left their roles in 2015-16. That is equivalent to 928 people leaving their job every day.

That means annual staff turnover is one in four, or put it the other way, the average carer stays in the business for about four years.

It’s very difficult work, but I bet it doesn’t take too long to train up to a reasonable standard. There are a few long-termers like “Sue Gregory, who has been a nurse in a care home for over 13 years”, but by and large and for most of them, it is just a short term job like working in a hotel or a supermarket or anything else. My sister did it for a few years after she finished uni, lots of nurses do it in between working in hospitals, I am sure that a large proportion are foreigners who come to the UK to earn good money (by their standards) with the intention of going home after a few years etc. You can’t fault them for that.

To summarise: the 900-a-day figure is pretty meaningless on its own.


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