Vacancy rates for care home staff have nearly doubled since April: CQC

The UK social care industry has warned of a staffing crisis as the shortage of care homes, exacerbated by mandatory vaccines, continues to grow.

In addition to the “no jab” requirement for care home staff in November, the industry has “steadily increased” staff vacancy rates throughout the year, reaching 11.5% at the end of December, and personnel in social care. Warns of a deployment crisis. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.

This is almost double the 6% vacancy rate in April 2021.

According to new figures, more than one in ten UK care home staff was not filled at the end of 2021.

The data is based on regulatory responses to 8,260 services from April 1st to December 31st. This is about 54% of all residential adult social care services.

Last year, CQC warned of a “serious and deteriorating” situation regarding recruitment and staff retention in adult social care.

The organization said people were leaving the sector to work in hospitality and tourism as society resumed following the COVID-19-related blockade, and others could find vacant nurses in hospitals. I warned that there was.

According to government regulations, after November 11, 2021, all long-term care facility workers and persons entering long-term care facilities must be fully vaccinated with COVID-19, unless there is a medical exemption. After that, thousands of care home staff lost their jobs as the mandatory jab expired.

Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum, which represents the care and support department, said “the situation is getting worse.”

“In recent months, the National Care Forum has warned of staffing crises in social care, as reported by its members. Providers responding to the latest January 2022 survey have worsened the situation. The vacancy rate is 18% and we are absent another 14% due to the Omicron variant, “Reiner said in a statement.

“This data is supported by the ADASS Winter Emergency Survey, in which 49 local governments have assigned outsourced care services and many other exceptional measures due to staff shortages. It turns out that the crisis was not caused by Omicron, but the pandemic exacerbated the pressure caused by chronic funding shortages and years of lack of workforce planning. ” She said.

One care provider called for an emergency volunteer for social services in case of a shortage of staff, and added that the government should also call on retired nurses, doctors and caregivers to seek help.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Owen Evans