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Victoria Syvelster of Acacia Training on setting higher standards in social work

There’s no doubt that the social care sector needs a major overhaul. But until society stops seeing care work as a second-rate profession, we will never solve the biggest issue – the workforce crisis, says Victoria Sylvester, Director of Acacia Training.

Earlier this year, MPs called for a radical overhaul of the social care system in Britain. Recommendations included the mandatory registration of all care workers, overseen by a governing council, and the creation of a National Care Service.

The proposals, published in a new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care were long-awaited after months of headlines about the ‘chaos of the care system’. Reports of half a million unqualified and untrained people working in the care sector shocked the nation, with many fearing for the safety of their elderly relatives and neighbours.

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Roger Daniels of Red Homes on oral hygiene

Roger Daniel is CEO at Red Homes Healthcare. Having grown up working in and around care homes, Roger has vast experience in delivering care. Here he discusses how important it is to have an oral hygiene policy in place.

CQC research released earlier this year found that 52% of care homes were without an oral health policy, and 73% of care didn’t sufficiently cover dental health. This is such an important but often overlooked aspect of care that protects residents’ oral health and in turn their overall wellbeing.

Conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia which affect a person’s ability to brush their teeth effectively, medications which reduce saliva and the fact that natural teeth are now maintained for longer all lead to greater oral health problems. For those in our care. we must not only address these issues as they arise but also put initiatives in place to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

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care and nursing books - Evidence-based Practice in Dementia

We take a look at some of the new care and nursing books out there for staff and families. Covering a range of topics, these titles off CPD, advice and comfort as well as proving a great resource for activities. Sign up to our magazine for more care and nursing books and look out for book package prizes on our competitions page…

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Youngsters can fill the staff storage gap in the care industry

A study conducted last year revealed that the level of vacant roles and turnover rates within the care sector are the highest they’ve ever been. One of the main factors for this is the ageing population – more people are reaching ages 85+ and are suffering from more complex health issues. The higher levels of dependability means the need for social care services is intensifying and there isn’t a large enough workforce to meet this demand.

The population of people aged over 65 is forecast to increase by 40% by 2035 and as a result, an additional 650,000 jobs will be required to meet this demand. Almost a quarter (24%) of the current workforce are aged over 55 - meaning that they are likely to retire within the next 10 years - a harsh reality that is putting more pressure on staff shortages. So why not target and utilise a younger generation?

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Care home nurses are REAL nurses

Lindsay Dingwall, Clinical/Academic Nurse Consultant for Older People from the University of Dundee, on recruiting and retaining the right care home nurses in order to tackle the social care crisis…

We already know that there is a crisis in nurse recruitment in the NHS, but care homes especially, are losing out in the race to recruit registered nurses with the best knowledge, skills and talent. Ironically, if care homes close, aside from some of the most vulnerable people in our society being denied the care they need, the NHS also suffers. So why are care home nurses not more valued?

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Sally Boyle on flexible training for nurses

Sally Boyle, Head of School in the Faculty of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University, discusses recruiting and retaining more nurses through flexible training…

The UK needs more nurses; this is a simple fact. Despite the number of nurses on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register increasing by 20,000 over the past five years, there are still 11,000 advertised vacancies for full-time nurses in the NHS in England - and while healthcare providers are understaffed, patient care is at risk.

Uncertainty around nurses' right to remain post-Brexit has seen new registrations from the EU fall from more than 10,000 in 2015/16 to just 800 in in the year 2017/18*, so it is essential we look to cultivate a more sustainable pipeline of nursing talent both within the UK itself as well as from wider sources of international recruitment.

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Russell Pillar of Spearhead Healthcare on caring for carers

Russell Pillar, director of care interiors at Spearhead Healthcare, advises how the right equipment and training makes a huge difference – to staff, residents and families…

All of us are aware that the care sector is burgeoning as our elderly population continues to rise. In fact, the Office for National Statistics has predicted a 36% growth in people aged 85+ between 2015 and 2025, up to 2million, and this is expected to lead to even higher demand for care home services.

Providing this care is of course reliant on carers, which means attracting and retaining staff is crucial to the sector. However, here there is a growing challenge, with some 110,000 vacancies in England’s adult social care sector at any given time and a 30.7% average annual staff turnover, according to Skills for Care. 

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Michael Johnson-Ellis of Healthier Recruitment on career progression for nurses

Michael Johnson-Ellis, one of the managing directors of Healthier Recruitment – an agency that fills vacancies for NHS, private and third sector healthcare organisations with permanent staff only – discusses career development…

With services under pressure, tighter budgets and a lack of staff and resources, many nurses and carers report feeling stunted with regard to professional development. However, there are a number of things you can do to progress your career regardless of the external situation.

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Royal Alfred's Anne Kasey on social care training

Anne Kasey, Home Manager and Clinical Lead for maritime charity, the Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, discusses the importance of investing in training in the social care sector and how it benefits residents…

It doesn’t matter which sector one operates in – having the right staff for the job is paramount to the success of any business. In the social care industry, this is more important than anywhere as staff are fundamental to the health and wellbeing of residents and have a duty of care to fulfil.