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By Debbie le Quesne

Care sector demand defies logic of the big squeeze

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There are more than 22,000 care providers in England and the social sector is expected to grow, new figures from Skills for Care suggest.

Ironic, isn’t it, that clearly there is a demand for our services at a time when they have never in modern history been so badly financed.

Demand for care and support of the growing numbers of older people is driving growth.

The figures, reported in the Guardian online, suggest that an estimated record 1.63 million people were employed in adult social care in England last year.

They worked in 1.85m “job roles”, a figure up 4.5 per cent on 2010 with the increase attributed largely to a 15 per cent rise in personal assistants recruited by people taking direct payments.

The report goes on to say that the number of organisations providing social care services is put at 22,100, an increase of 1 per cent on 2010.

But not all is rosy in the social care garden, the article adds. Too true.

Growth is itself a source of difficulty in that it is running in line with Skills for Care’s previous forecast that, short of any unexpected game-changers, the sector may need to employ as many as 3.1 million people by 2025 – a staggering number.

Recruiting the right staff is hugely challenging and whether we like it or not, the job suffers from an image problem that deters young and male candidates.

The economic and social difficulties care needs foster are made more complex by a distinct lack of leadership from government sources. Lobbying, I know, is going on but results so far are disappointing.

I was shocked to learn that people in parts of southern England are being quoted as much as £2,000 a week for a bed in a nursing home.

According to market analysts Laing & Buisson, 41per cent of people in care homes are now fully responsible for their own fees, and 55 per cent are paying all or part of the fees as the state’s funding role diminishes.

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Written by debbielq

October 24, 2012 at 10:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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