Social care: ‘The worst it’s been in my 36 years in care’

Posted: July 18th 2022


The challenges facing social care providers are at their worst in rural settings. This article tells us:

Home care providers say care workers are leaving their jobs because of the rising costs of fuel and reluctance to work long hours after the pandemic.

At the same time the demand for social care is rising and hospitals are facing backlogs as they say they have patients they cannot discharge without care in place.

How are care providers coping and what can be done to solve the issues?

Prema Fairbourn, is chair of the Suffolk association of independent care providers and runs Primary Homecare, which provides carers to go into people's homes.

"All care agencies are having that same problem that they do not have enough staff," she says.

"At one point I had about 80 members of staff but that has dropped now to about 47, that's a big drop.

"I think staff have had a big rethink since the pandemic and their work/life balance is more important to them.

"So they are look at the unsocial hours they have to do in the care sector and they don't want to do it."

Fuel costs are also an issue she says. "Whatever we pay them a lot of it is swallowed up."

While there are fewer carers in the industry, Ms Fairbourn says: "The demand is great and the backlog in the hospital lists is huge and I don't know how they are going to service all those [care] packages."