By: admin admin

19th July, 2016

National shortages needn't impact your care home

- by Zainab


How will national staffing shortages impact care homes?


A recent report conducted by the specialist property adviser Christie + Co illustrated that there is a shortage of 15,000 nurses in the UK. This shortage of nurses is a problem and unfortunately has a number of detrimental effects for care homes across the country.


How can the gap be filled?


As there is a shortage of staff in the workforce, we now have something called an ‘agency culture’ which means that care homes are quite reliant on agency staff. Statistics show that the use of agency staff over the past two years has increased by 55%. Therefore, there is a substantial financial strain on care homes as agency staff cost more than permanent employees. Figures demonstrate that agency staff can cost double or three times the amount of a permanent employee. As a result of this, there are substantially increased staff cost ratios. The report shows that on a bed weighted basis, the staff cost ratios have increased by 1.7ppts on average.  Unfortunately, this can result in scaled down budgets for new equipment, renovation projects and facilities for care home residents. Additionally by using agency staff, the different staff end up working at different locations with different residents or partners every day. For this reason, resident care can be inconsistent and there can be an increased risk with mistakes being made if detailed handovers are not put in place.


Stringent immigration regulations


The staffing shortage problem in care homes and its negative effect is heightened due to tighter immigration rules and visa restrictions which make it harder to recruit nurses from overseas. With the Brexit now, this will make getting visas more difficult in the foreseeable future for any workers within Europe as well as outside of Europe. We also no longer have the free movement of people for work within Europe and therefore may mean that the national shortage must be tackled by training and employing an indigenous workforce.


Ageing workforce


This report cites that the carehome sector has an ageing workforce with a large number of nurses who are in care homes aged 55 or above. Through careful workforce planning and recruitment drives from universities and colleges, there is a need to establish some sort of a safeguard against any lack of trained and experienced staff and also against any knowledge deficit these staff members may have. This will enable healthcare workers support care homes in the years to come.



If you would like support attracting educated homecare staff, call Abi on 0203 637 6445.