Scottish social care sector struggling through severe staff shortages, report shows

A new report has highlighted the mass exodus that the social care sector in Scotland is currently facing.

The report, which was published yesterday by the Coalition of Care and Support providers in Scotland (CCPS), exposed an average of 52% of staff who moved jobs last year abandoned social care. In addition, research also highlighted that almost three-quarters of organisations surveyed reported a high staff turnover between 2021 and 2022.

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Following this, 73% of companies delivering social care said staff turnover had spiked by 14% between 2020 and 2021.

Rachel Cackett, chief executive of CCPS, who commissioned the University of Strathclyde to conduct the survey and analysis for member organisations, said: ‘The headline results of this survey are stark and confirm what our provider organisations have been telling us over the past year: retention and recruitment of staff are the dominant issues in a sector under intense pressure.

‘It’s a situation that has only worsened since this data for 2022 was captured, as differences in pay between not-for-profit social care providers and the public sector have widened.

‘This report points to an exit of staff across organisations, resulting in a loss of expertise, talent, and a massive undermining of key services.

‘It’s a loss that has an impact on achieving what we all want to see: people getting the support they need at the right times in the right places.’

As the report pinpoints serious staffing problems in Scotland, it has been published amidst a similar problem consuming social care in England. In wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and as the cost-of-living continues to squeeze budgets, data published by Skills for Care in October 2022 shows the number of vacant social care positions in 2021/22 hit 165,0000.

Overall, as pressures continue to pile onto the health and social care sector, the UK government have recently published their NHS workforce plan, but, like staff positions in the sector, plans to help social care are vacant from the document.

However, after the CCPS report highlighted the staff issues in Scotland, campaigns have been launched to encourage the Scottish government to address and resolve the issue.

Rachel Cackett said: ‘This is the reason we’ve launched our 4 Steps to Fair Work campaign, which calls on the Scottish government to take the measures long needed to deliver on investment and reform.

‘We want to see social care organisations hold onto their workforce, to have the resources to develop their people – and for staff to finally be fairly rewarded for their public service.’

Image: Clem Onojeghuo


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