Two thirds of homecare providers are turning away new care requests due to staff shortages according to a survey from the National Care Forum.
Commenting on the survey, Homecare Association's CEO Dr Jane Townson said:
"The findings from the National Care Forum (NCF) make for shocking reading and match the stories that we are hearing from our members in the Homecare Association.
NHS trusts have been given a target to discharge 30% people from hospital by Friday 14 January 2022 and 50% by 31 January 2022. As the NCF’s survey shows, there is nowhere to discharge them to. Some care providers are being placed under almost intolerable pressure to accept hospital discharges, despite repeatedly making clear they do not have enough careworkers to do so. Some people who need care being are discharged into hotels staffed by live-in careworkers flown in from overseas, as there is no alternative.
We are hearing stories of hospitals discharging people who are allegedly medically fit for discharge back to their own homes with care, who then die within 9 hours of discharge.
We also face the most challenging period in living memory in terms of retention and recruitment of care staff. This is not helped by new regulations requiring vaccination as a condition of deployment, which come into force on 1st April 2022 and risk us losing up to 20% of the homecare workforce. It’s a slow motion car crash and even more older and disabled people who need and receive care will suffer the consequences.
We welcome the government’s vision for social care, which places home-based support and care at the centre. To turn this vision into reality, homecare needs much greater investment. Investing adequately in homecare helps to enhance quality of life, improve outcomes, take pressure off the NHS and save money for the health and care system."