Care home staff need support not surveillance
The role of a social care worker can be rewarding. It?s not the ?dead-end job? that most of the public see it as, and the latest course being offered via 360 Forward through the University of Surrey, the Elizabeth Care Course, is designed to help individuals learn more about care role and the varied career paths on offer. There are a vast number of elderly and disabled people in care homes that need constant surveillance and mobile assistance. The current recruitment numbers are nowhere near the one million workers that are required to support these vulnerable individuals.
The Elizabeth Care Course
This course is designed to offer a career pathway into social care and change the social stigmas that are often linked to such a role. It is not constant surveillance that care homes need from central government but a better form of training for the residential care sector. Working in a nursing home is rewarding for the people who choose this career path, but a recent debate on this sector found that there was minimal training and development, which has affected recruitment and retention.
It is fair to say that social care is undervalued as a diverse career pathway, but it does offer valuable opportunities. For example, a nursing qualification that is obtained in a nursing home can be carried over to any other caring role. The Elizabeth Care Course plans to change these social stigmas and encourage more individuals to explore the rewarding career path of social care.
The care sector is low-paid, which may be one reason why recruitment is low. It is also important to mention that vulnerable people are a higher risk of injury due to their frail musculoskeletal systems. The unfair attacks that the care industry receives in relation to these injuries have also lowered the interest of potential individuals who might wish to move into the social care sector. Simon Whalley, the owner of Birtley House, blames this recruitment challenge on the two-tier system currently operated by the National Health Service. Care must be a priority. Much of the money spent on healthcare would be better spent on care.
Moves to Integrate the Course into Other Universities
A total of nine nurses and care workers began the Elizabeth Care Course, and the consultancy 360 Forward is in current negotiations with other universities to offer both this degree course and a foundation course for anyone interested in a career in the care sector. There are plans for this to start in autumn 2015. There are also plans to offer postgraduate qualifications in the near future which will add a professional route into social care and encourage more people to consider this rewarding career path.
Social Care Undervalued
The NHS has 1.4 million staff and receives more in funding for health than care, while the social care sector has 1.6 million staff and is struggling through lack of funding. This puts a huge burden on care providers who may have otherwise had the money to support their workers through training and development.
Following on from the Cavendish Review, which took place after a scandal at a Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust, the Department of Health plans to introduce a care certificate for all front-line staff. There are plans to provide ?130 million for training and development in the adult social care sector, with ?12 million of this for social care qualifications.