Workers shun “menial” home care


The work is considered too menial and unpleasant by many, while others say care staff are treated badly by their employers. And the sector will face a shortfall of a million workers in 20 years, warns one of the UK”s leading care providers.

Of more than 2,000 adults polled, 68 per cent said they would shun a job caring for people in their own homes. Yet 53 per cent agreed that social care is essential in today”s ageing society.

Four in 10 (43 per cent) thought home care involved unpleasant and menial tasks and 39 per cent said firms often treated workers badly. Trevor Brocklebank, CEO of Home Instead Senior Care, which commissioned the poll, has 5,000 jobs to fill this year.

He said: “If older people are to have the future they want, living independently in their own homes, we urgently need more people to take on these important roles. “We need to debunk these out-of-date views of the sector if we are to stand a chance of combating this crisis.”

Sharon Allen of charity Skills For Care, which works with providers to develop their workforce, said: “We know our population is continuing to age rapidly and with that will come an increasing demand for person-centred home care.

“This poll offers a real insight into the public”s misconceptions of what a career in home care entails.”

In another blow for the sector, town hall bosses say new powers to raise council tax by two per cent to pay for social care in 2016/17 will not bring in enough money. The Local Government Association says nine in 10 councils in England are considering or have approved plans to raise £372million.

But most of this could be spent funding the introduction of the Government”s National Living Wage from April, estimated at £330million. Council leaders are calling on the Chancellor to use his March Budget to bring forward an additional £700m in funding earmarked for social care by 2020.