The UK’s largest event to focus on the key issues facing the UK care industry – The Care Show – has revealed the results of an exclusive survey of over 22,000 care providers, highlighting their key concerns in the increasingly over-burdened care sector in the UK today.

The recruitment, training and retention of staff is highlighted by over 52.5% of respondents to the survey with budget cuts and external funding concerns ranking at almost 29%.  Other areas of concerns include occupancy levels and increasing regulation.

In relation to staffing issues, employers are currently advised to use Common Induction Standards, which directly relate to the National Minimum Training Standards, and to continue with the existing qualifications such as diplomas in health and social care that signify occupational competence in a role.  But many good care homes and care agencies are striving to go further and these success stories will be highlighted at The Care Show, taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 4 and 5 November.

Santall Horn, General Manager of Etheldred House in Cambridge comments:

 We have 90 staff who work as a united team with a common purpose, with team spirit – not hierarchy – as our driving force.  All team members, from nurses to carers to domestic staff are given the company basic training in areas such as Moving & Handling and care practices to safely provide in areas such as Gastrostomy Feeding, Mental Capacity and many more, so they all have a common basis to grow in their understanding and learning.  Whilst our qualified nurses are obviously trained to a greater extent, empowering our staff with knowledge is beneficial for all.  The home team is involved in assessing people for new admissions to ensure both the families and the staff have a relationship from the outset.  We train our care staff internally or locally wherever possible and support social activities for them outside work hours.”

The Care Show survey reveals other examples of staff engagement as key to building an involved and committed team of carers.  For example, simple training in assessing the health of residents’ health as provided by Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees CCG in association with Care Plus Solutions CIC has been a positive and beneficial experience for both staff and residents.  Involving dedicated staff in caring for people with a long-term view is another key recommendation, as highlighted by Russell Court Nursing Home in Kent and Anchor Bilton Court in Wellingborough among many others.

The impact of funding cuts on the care industry was also highlighted as a key concern by many responding to the survey. Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive, Care England says:

“The recent research by The Care Show clearly shows that the care sector is suffering hugely from funding cuts. The demographics are clear and show that there will be a huge need for more care in the future and unless the Government invests in the sector now, this will lead to problems for future generations. There will always be a need for high-quality residential care services and the current policy to deny this fact is shortsighted. Independent care services can provide a solution to the growing needs of an ageing population and we should be supported and encouraged, rather than abused, misrepresented and marginalised, by politicians, the media and society.”

The UK care market is currently estimated to be worth in excess of £55 billion to the UK economy and The Care Show is a pivotal platform for all those who have an interest in the future of care within the UK.  The event will run two simultaneous conference programmes profiling pioneering speakers to address these and other key issues facing the care industry today.