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Care vacancy rates almost double over past 12 months

Care vacancy rates have almost doubled over the past year, while the number of filled posts is falling, data from Skills for Care show.

The monthly data set shows that vacancy rates have increased from 5.9 per cent in March 2021 to a new low of 10 per cent in March 2022. At the same time the number of filled posts has decreased by 4.6 per cent between March 2021 and March 2022. The decrease was greater in care homes with nursing, which fell by 6 per cent.

Post pandemic peak, vacancy rates have been rising in social care and are now higher than they were before COVID-19. Difficulties relate to recruitment – starters rates fell 4.2 percentage points by March 22 – and retention: staff turnover rates rose 4.9 percentage points.

The average number of sickness day over the previous 12 months has also recently started increasing. This comes as public restrictions on COVID-19 are lifted.

Oonagh Smyth, CEO of Skills for Care said: “We must focus on showcasing the rewards of building a long and fulfilling career in social care.”

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