Exploitation Of Care Workers Is Leaving Older People At Risk

A recent report published by Baroness Kingsmill has criticised the state of the care workforce in which she says that she has never seen so many underpaid, under-qualified and undertrained staff in any sector of the economy.

The care industry is now in a “vicious downward spiral”, staffed by “exhausted”, rushed and disillusioned workers, many of them determined to leave, the study by Baroness Kingsmill, the Labour peer, states.

Around 20% in home care agencies or care homes are on “contentious” “zero hours” contracts, with no basic job security, and many actually paid below the minimum wage, it concludes.

The result is that some of the most vulnerable people in Britain are spending the last years of their lives in the care of “undervalued, underpaid and undertrained” staff with little time even to stop and talk to them.

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive at Independent Age said:

“Baroness Kingsmill’s report is expected to highlight once again how severe and damaging the crisis in care funding has become, not least for older people in residential and nursing care.

“Whilst we welcome recent attempts to professionalise the social care workforce, these have tended to focus on social workers and not care workers or care assistants.

“Ultimately we have to ask ourselves whether as a society we are comfortable with seeing some of the most important professionals we and our family members will ever need to rely on getting paid a £6.31 an hour, if that.

“We believe that low pay and zero hours contracts in adult social care are symptomatic of a care system that is in crisis.  With low wages, high staff turnover and lack of training we can barely be shocked by the toxic conditions Baroness Kingsmill will highlight in her review today”.