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Care staff shortages expected to reach 100,000 in 2021

Care home providers could face staff shortages of 100,000 unfilled vacancies in 2021. New immigration laws and changes to Care Quality Commission (CQC) rules could cause the shortage, according to research by law firm Royds Withy King.

Overseas staff are crucial to the UK care home sector and with post-Brexit immigration laws set to limit access to foreign workers, staff shortages could become a reality this year.

The legal practice surveyed 136 care home operators, and found that 70 per cent of respondents expect staffing shortages if the government adopt proposed amendments to the Health and Social Care Act of 2008.

The firm identifies the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) new regulations as another key factor for care home managers to consider in 2021.

The regulator hosts a consultation with care providers later this month as it looks to introduce new measures in May.

Commenting on the potential impact of the changes, Royds Withy King partner Mei-Ling Huang said: “Care providers should ensure that they take the time to have their say in this consultation as CQC’s new ways of working are likely to have a substantial impact on their services. It may be difficult for providers, managers and care staff to get to grips with a new regime while exhausted and potentially still struggling with the pandemic.”

The CQC will also release a care planning review early this year. The review is expected to cover best practices on DNACPR and human rights at the end of life.

  • Royds Withy King also forecasts increased mergers and acquisitions during 2021, due to pent-up demand from investors, new market entrants and existing operators who wish to grow and expand.

By Harry Gibson

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