Chaotic staff planning hastens staff departure, CQC finds in new report

Chaotic and unorganised shift patterns and inadequate breaks are making more staff quit in residential care than in any other setting, the CQC has said in its latest sector report.

The regulator for England’s State of Care Report for 2018-19 finds that over the past five years, residential homes have the highest staff attrition at 11 per cent, compared to nursing homes, which have lost just six per cent of staff over the same time period. By staff role, junior care workers are the most likely to leave while their senior counterparts are the most likely to stay.

Care staff have told the CQC that they can feel dissatisfied, stressed and undervalued in their role. However, when providers valued and cared for their staff team, it can create the conditions for both high-quality care and an engaged and loyal workforce. Examples included successful values-based recruitment campaigns that involved relatives and residents in the interview process for new staff.

According to Skills for Care, the sector will need a further 580,000 job roles – to over two million by 2035.

The report also finds particular ongoing concerns with the stability of the adult social care market with no consensus on how adult social care should be funded in the future. Twice in 2018, the CQC notified local authorities that there was a credible risk of service disruption because of potential failure of a provider’s business. Analysis by the Health Foundation forecasts that, currently funding for adult social care is expected to rise at an annual average rate of 1.4 per cent a year to 2023/24, despite rising demand at 3.6 per cent a year. According to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) only 35 per cent of directors are fully confident that their budgets will be sufficient to meet specific statutory duties.

Around eight in 10 adult social care services were rated as good and 4 per cent as outstanding during the year. Outstanding practices include: smaller care homes joining together to deliver staff training, and local authority quality teams promoting mentorship schemes for registered managers and free training for frontline staff.   

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