The cost of living crisis continues to hit the headlines and impact a large portion of the UK. People are struggling to pay bills, fuel, and food costs, and are being placed in difficult situations where they are having to consider looking for jobs that offer higher incomes.
With the Care Sector already predominantly offering low-paid work, Care workers across the country are struggling to cope with the rising costs.
During this challenging time, Care organisations need to ensure that they are prioritising their workforce, in order to retain their talent and reduce the workforce crisis. How can tech help to ease this problem?
How is the cost of the living crisis impacting the industry and workforce?
Carers UK’s recent study shows that almost and are having to make cuts on essentials to be able to survive.
The cost of living crisis is not only impacting mental well-being and financial situations but Care workers’ abilities to care for residents to the highest standards.
The Care Workers Charity has reported since the cost of living crisis, it has seen an increase in crisis grant applications from Care workers, and statistics show the vacancy rate is the highest ever recorded (13.5%). The Social Care Workforce: Averting a Crisis discusses the industry’s workforce.
CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity, Karolina Gerlich, says: “The current cost of living crisis is hitting our social care sector hard. Without funding, increases to match the increased cost of groceries, fuel, and energy bills our care workers often live hand to mouth and must seek support from organisations and charities such as ours to survive. With an already heavily strained workforce living with a still very real Covid-19 pandemic after two years of struggle, this is another blow to the industry.”
Chief Executive of Care England, Professor Martin Green OBE, says: “Today’s figures illustrate the true scale of the energy crisis facing adult social care, with providers facing a staggering 683% increase in energy costs over the last 12 months. For gas and electricity that would have cost £660 per bed per annum this time last year; this week, care providers would have to pay an astonishing £5,166. Representing an additional cost of over £2bn per annum sector-wide, the energy crisis comes at a time when adult social care is already facing the most challenging circumstances in its history.”
Learn more about Radar Healthcare
What can be done to help retain Care Workers?
It is always important for organisations to prioritise their current talent, but even more so now. Our Head of People and Culture, Hannah Jones, speaks about how technology helps to gain the ideal work culture, support workers and alleviate day-to-day challenges in What The HealthTech.
Flexible rostering: Have you considered offering flexible online rostering? Long hours and days can lead to workforce burnout, and offering flexibility is essential so that organisations can achieve the right balance between care support, well-being, and maintaining independence.
Building an open culture and communication: Nearly 30% of people in the UK have said that management style and a lack of communication between workers have resulted in them feeling work-related stress and unhappiness at work.
Typically, Care homes work across a range of systems, including multiple spreadsheets and paper-based documents, making it difficult to track and map improvements, access information quickly, and keep up-to-date with procedures as well as oversee tasks and incidents.
Quality, compliance, and risk management software, like Radar Healthcare, gives teams one central view of all processes, acting as their one source of truth, increasing opportunities for communication and collaboration, whilst reducing human error and duplication of work.
Value your workforce: Complaints, incidents, and concerns are always going to occur in Social Care, and documenting these events and incidents is standard practice in order to improve and develop, as well as meet basic CQC criteria. However, it is extremely important to create balance. Care Homes and Providers that are actively valuing their workers’ hard work and celebrating their successes have seen increased productivity, a reduction in turnover, and a boost in staff morale.
Radar Healthcare helps workers collate all types of events, including compliments, to allow care workers and professionals to reflect on their hard work and show appreciation.
Listen to What The Health Tech?
Introducing Radar Healthcare
Radar Healthcare is dedicated to supporting all Health and Social Care organisations, with the end goal of helping our partners make a difference, now and in the future.
Our flexible solution has been designed to allow real care teams to collaborate on projects and ingrain a culture of continuous improvement. With our wide offering of quality and compliance modules, managers can rest assured that teams are supported and equipped to fulfill their roles to their best abilities.
We were recently asked by Care Home Professional: “As energy prices soar, care providers are facing immense cost pressures. How do you help providers save money?”
Head of Customer Experience at Radar Healthcare, Chloe Weatherhead, replied: “Workforce capacity is often the main contributor to cost pressures. This is where our software can help to ease the burden by reducing admin time whilst giving a holistic view of operational performance across single or multiple locations.
Culture can also impact costs. When engaged, satisfied, and listened to, staff are happier which can result in higher productivity, fewer mistakes, and lower turnover. Radar Healthcare encourages two-way feedback to create a positive culture around incident recording and logging feedback.
There’s also the advantage of having one single system to manage your risk and compliance – with incident recording, audit management, analytics, and workforce compliance just to name a few, you no longer need multiple systems in place, which can save you money on licence fees (one of our partners noted a 65% saving when moving to Radar Healthcare as they replaced three systems with one).”