The Growing Importance of Homecare in an Uncertain Market
What is the first thought that comes into your mind when you think about homecare? Caring for the elderly, societal aid and loneliness amongst the elderly have all ranked high in a recent study conducted in the UK about public opinion on homecare, but worryingly enough, so too have low paid jobs, immigrant workers and low standards of work. Recently in his decision to step down as chair of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, Mike Padgham strongly advised government officials to address the rapidly declining situation and to treat those working in the sector with ‘greater respect’. It may come as no surprise that those working in the homecare sector, namely care workers, have been unwillingly labelled with lower value statuses unequal to the level of service and value they provide to communities worldwide.
This problem is not only reflected in the UK but worsened by the country’s decision to leave the European single market. In earlier posts, we discussed the critically under-funded social-care system in the UK and recently, our effort to raise some much-needed funds to promote better care and better training for care workers. Although it was a great success, unfortunately, it is nowhere near enough. UKCHA’s policy director Colin Angel has said:
This ‘perfect storm’ in the labour market could have extremely negative consequences for the homecare sector. Following the Brexit decision, carehome.co.uk jobs disclosed that the numbers of European nationals applying for care work positions had dropped from 26% of total applicants before the EU referendum to 2.41% of the total applicants after. This would mean several home care providers would struggle to meet demand, potentially leaving thousands in London alone without the right care.
For this reason, it is more important than ever to invest in better training and better treatment for workers, to slowly change the narrative from ‘bottom rung on the ladder’ to positions vital to the good health and sustainability of our society. Since day one, Harley Street Care has been advocating strongly on behalf of care workers and cannot overstate the importance of not only attracting new, well-trained talent but also maintaining a positive and nurturing environment for our current workforce. We not only pay above industry standard to ensure we achieve these goals but also employ continuous training programmes to ensure the longevity and consistency of high-quality training. Considering the circumstances the industry is facing, it is now more important than ever to drive more resources into the workforce and change the face of the industry permanently. As Mike Padgham said in his final speech as Chair: