HOW DO WE FIX SOCIAL CARE?
With an average of 105,000 daily vacancies advertised and a near doubling of staff absences in the previous 12 months to date, the adult social care sector is facing an incredibly though challenge in the recruitment and staff retention.1 Coupled with an ageing population, there is an increasing in need for reform within the social care sector and easier access to quality care providers for millions of vulnerable people throughout the UK in order to tackle rising levels of unmet needs.
So, what can be done?
1. Ensure long-term, sustainable funding
In an attempt to tackle the backlog of cases within the NHS and the social care crisis, increases to UK National Insurance have been unveiled as the plan to allow for social care reform. While an introduction of a care spend cap have been welcomed, many have highlighted that only a fraction on the money raised will be used to address strains on the current system2.
To ensure long-term sustainable funding is available, alternative models including salary sacrifice schemes, ‘later life’ funds and even reform of later-life insurance products have all been suggested by industry thought leaders as possible ways to fund and support acute and community health services.3
2. Focus on community-centred preventative models of care
As part of a long-term strategy, government’s should look to adopt and deploy a preventative approach towards older people’s care. By focusing on a holistic, person-centred approach and utilising innovation within the health-tech sector, the unnecessary need for secondary care can be prevented ultimately reducing the burden on formal health care services and empowering older people to remain independent within their communities.
Investment in such technologies can also help local authorities to develop predictive data and analytics to improve services, effectively utilise resources and provide a more tailored and targeted care plan.
3. Shifting the way in which we view social care professionals
Recent figures show that support workers have a £7,000 pay gap compared to those in equivalent roles in other public funded sectors.4 By breaking the stereotypes of social care work as ‘low-skilled’ and having a deeper understanding of the value of the service they provide to those most vulnerable in our communities, we can empower carers to develop careers, benefit economically and increase overall job satisfaction.
For more information about how Age Care Technologies® is working to improve the lives of older people globally through excellence in compassionate person-centred care for older people, click here