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SE social care staff need keyworker status to complete with NHS

Social care staff in the South East need keyworker status to access affordable housing, and London and London-fringe NHS weightings must be factored into the Fair Cost of Care exercise to enable independent providers in the South East to recruit and retain staff on a level playing field.

These are the demands from the South East Social Care Alliance (SESCA) following a survey of 198 members. This shows that 45 per cent have considered leaving the market in the past 12 months.

The survey identifies three top concerns for residential and domiciliary care providers in the Southeast of England:  

Workforce:

  • 90 per cent of providers report the situation regarding workforce is either worse than it’s ever been, or somewhat worse  
  • 70 per cent of providers are unable to replace all lost staff  

 Impact on services:  

  • 18 per cent of residential providers have either closed beds or carried voids due to staffing pressures
  • 38 per cent of leavers are exiting the adult social care sector

Costs and income:

  • Costs anticipated to rise by up to 25 per cent in the current tax year
  • 58 per cent of residential providers report below-average occupancy  
  • Average funding shortfall up from 17 to 20 per cent in 2021-22  

SESCA concludes that there must be “genuine engagement with the whole sector to ensure the voice of care providers is heard and included in all future policy initiatives”.  

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