NCF Workforce Survey 2014 Highlights Care Sector Challenges

NCF workforce survey highlights significant challenges to ensure successful implementation of the new Care Act

The care sector is an ageing workforce: 47.9% of staff in our survey are aged 45+ and correspondingly only 12% under 25 years of age. Both of these developments have become an added challenge to care providers in the last year. The NCF annual survey of staffing, one of the largest workforce surveys in the care sector, draws on data from 58 member organisations covering some 64,805 employees.

Des Kelly (NCF Executive Director) said:

“This is our 11th consecutive annual survey of staffing which maps trends in the care sector workforce. It is a huge database with a wealth of information. Turnover rates continue to average close to 20% although some improvement seems to have occurred. “However the most worrying finding in the whole report is the ‘churn’ rate, which is up for the third consecutive year, with 38.8% of staff leaving within one year of appointment and 65.5% within two years. In home care services the figures are even higher with 47.4% leaving within one year and a staggering 73.5% within two years. Only in day care services (where the numbers are less) do the churn rates fall to a reasonable level. Arguably the care sector needs to be able to improve on these retention rates to be able to sustain quality and achieve efficiencies.”

Des Kelly added:

“Of most interest is where staff go and why. It is evident from our survey that this information remains elusive to employers and there are very few clues as to the reasons for leaving. It is our view that there is not one thing that makes the difference but rather the cumulative effects that create a feeling of not being valued. 

“If the care sector is to be in the best shape to cope with the reforming intent of the Care Act 2014 and be fit for the future it is imperative that providers address these challenges and build on the positive improvements seen in qualification rates.”

Staffing in the care sector remains a fundamental issue… and rightly so given its importance to ensuring service quality. NCF is committed to continuing to collect data on staffing amongst its membership for benchmarking purposes on an annual basis.