The Caring Heroes initiative led by the group based in Accrington, Lancashire, has gathered support from MPs and leading organisations Care England and Skills for Care.
Now The Care Workers Charity – dedicated to helping current, former and retired care workers who find themselves in hardship – has added its voice to the growing campaign which highlights the increasing shortage of people and skills in the sector to manage an ageing population.
A report by Skills for Care estimates that 340,000 social care employees leave their jobs each year and that vacancy rates for social workers have jumped from 7.3 per cent in 2012 to 11 per cent in 2016. More than 2,800 manager jobs remain unfilled at any one time in care homes across England.
Alex Ramamurthy, CEO of The Care Workers Charity, said: “We are acutely aware of these figures and the difficulties they present care staff with every day. We need to act now.”
Accrington MP Graham Jones is supporting the initiative by the national care group to highlight the sterling work that is carried out by the industry despite funding cuts. The MP has met with senior representatives from Age UK to discuss the adult social care crisis, written to David Mowat MP, the Minister responsible for social care, and has tabled a question in Parliament.
Donna Briggs, managing director of Springhill Care, said: “We see the deepening issues every day at our care homes, and while investment in our staff is a priority for us we see problems ahead in terms of availability of the number of skilled employees needed.
“The only answer for us at Springhill is to commit to training our own workforce, and we are committed to Investors in People and developing our own staff to the levels we require.”
Springhill Care Group is asking people to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #caringheroes.
The adult social care sector in England faces a gap of 200,000 care workers by the end of this Parliament. The Association of Directors of Adult Services estimates that there is a current funding gap of £1 billion a year, while the King’s Fund estimates this gap could rise to £3.5 billion a year by 2019.