Uk-news

Keir Starmer calls for end to crisis for ‘exhausted, demoralised’ care workers

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has backed the Sunday Mirror in demanding an end to the care crisis.

Blasting the recent Tory tax rise for working people as “a kick in the teeth” for care staff, he said: “You are right to highlight the crisis in social care made in Downing Street by a government that has failed to plan for the long-term.

“It’s the same story we’ve seen with driver shortages, food shortages and fuel shortages. And it’s working people the Tories are leaving to pay the price.”

Sir Keir said it was no wonder many care workers “are exhausted, demoralised and burnt out after a gruelling 18 months keeping our loved ones safe. – and instead of care staff getting a pay rise they get a tax rise. What a kick in the teeth.”

His comments come after a damning report by the Care Quality Commission this week highlighted the appalling shape the sector is in.

Chief executive Ian Trenholme said carers are “exhausted and depleted” and warned there will be a “tsunami of unmet need” unless staff ­shortages are tackled.



Claire Clark says all care workers should have access to a counsellor to cope with the job
(

Image:

Claire Clark)




Our Stop the Care Crisis campaign calls for a review into workers’ pay and for care to be brought into line with similar NHS roles.

We also demand an end to unpaid travel time for home workers and the addition of care to the Shortage Occupation list so migrant staff can fill empty roles.

We also want a register for carers in England like they have in other parts of the UK.

These actions could help plug 120,000 care industry vacancies – which will mount as a further 42,000 unvaccinated carers are set to leave in weeks under the No 10’s “no jab, no job” rule.

And for those who are left, pressure continues to build on their mental health – a plight highlighted in recent hard-hitting TV drama Help.

Today a carer at a home that helped inspire the drama starring Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham tells us all staff should have access to counselling services.

Claire Clark has benefited from one at Pelham House put in place by owner Roger Waluube who advised on scripts for the Channel 4 hit.

The home in ­Folkestone, Kent, lost 10 of 22 residents to Covid last year.



The government this week announced an extra £162.5m to boost the adult social care workforce (stock image)
(

Image:

Getty)




Claire, 42, a carer for 21 years said: “Care workers don’t always want to speak to their families about the pressure.

“They don’t want to burden them. Speaking to a professional really helped me.”

She lost three family members “while juggling working six days a week and wanting to do the best by residents.”

Claire was forced to leave her previous care home earlier this year due to staff shortages that left her and one colleague caring for 15 residents in a 12-hour shift.

“We were flat-out,” she said. “I kept my residents safe but I was also looking after my family and putting myself at risk. I felt unappreciated.”

She is much happier since moving to Pelham House as a team leader five months ago, but staff shortages mean she is working six days a week until they can recruit three extra carers.

Owner Roger said his home is “fighting for survival” after his 23-person team plummeted to just five plus agency staff last year.

Pelham House was also one of two care homes to feature in a Panorama investigation The Forgotten Frontline and was just 10 days from closure last August following the deaths of the 10 residents.



Care workers are burnt out after the past 18 months- (stock image)
(

Image:

Getty)




It was only saved after Roger secured a loan of over £100,000. He has since rebuilt his team, but is still short. Two recently quit over Sajid Javid ’s policy that all carers must be fully vaccinated by November 11.

“Many staff have left social care due to risks,” he said. “Using agency staff has been a necessity. Legal obligation on vaccination has meant more losses. Our solution will lie in persuading people from abroad to help us.”

The care boss says he “absolutely” supports our campaign. “Bringing pay in line with the NHS is so important – it’s also about recognition, as social care is seen as the ugly sister to health.

“As a provider, some of the obligation on pay is down to me. I sign up for that. But council funding for people in care needs reviewing. I can only pay staff so much.”

He hopes the “brilliant” reaction to Help, seen by 1.1million viewers last month, highlights the ordeals workers have been through.

“I think everyone should watch Help,” he added. Claire said watching it “felt very close to home.”

The Government this week announced an extra £162.5million to boost the adult social care workforce as well as the £5.4billion ear­marked for the sector in the next three years.

The CQC welcomed the change but warned it must be used to “enable new ways of working”, not to “prop up existing approaches”.

The chief of Britain’s largest charity care provider MHA warned homes will close unless action is taken.

Sam Monaghan urged the Government to let more overseas carers work here and to fund a pandemic bonus for workers.

It has also emerged in a National Care Forum survey that 5,000 vulnerable people needing care nationwide had to be turned away by 340 care services in just six weeks through staff shortages.







Homes are having to say no to patients discharged from hospital and one in four managers returned home-care contracts to councils.

One was agency owner Ross Kneller who found his team could no longer care for 10 vulnerable people requiring help.

Earlier this year, he employed 60 home-care nurses at St Margaret’s Homecare in Harrogate, North Yorks.

On his last payroll, he had just 46 staff. “We couldn’t fulfil those demands,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been fair on the staff or the clients. We are advertising but there’s no interest in working in care.

At St Margaret’s, home-care nurses get £10.25 an hour, rising to £12. Ross pays his staff for the time spent travelling between visits, plus mileage.

Yet more than half of councils refuse to insist providers pay staff travel time and many agencies pay as low as £9. Ross is struggling to compete with huge employers like Amazon.

“A carer in Selby loved the job but was offered £22 an hour as an Amazon driver,” he said. “Why would you not do that?”

Applications for care jobs at charity Community Integrated Care have also “plummeted”, said Caroline Broughall who oversees 18 care services throughout the North West.

“We’re facing a real crisis that feels invisible and ignored.”


Read More





Read More






Most Related Links :
todayuknews Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button
Native News Post