Research by the National Care Forum and the Outstanding Managers Network has found that nearly a fifth of positions in residential care homes and home care – also known as domicilary care – are currently vacant, with more than two thirds of providers saying they were having to stop or limit services.
This is also having an effect on hospitals, causing 'bed-blocking' where a patient is well enough to be discharged but must remain in hospital as they do not have enough support at home.
Care workers support people with all aspects of their day-to-day living, including social and physical activities, personal care, mobility and at meal times. They can work either in residential settings or in people’s own homes.
Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "We have increased our provision of home care by 4,000 hours per week since the start of the pandemic, and until now we have just about managed to meet demand.
"However, we are now heading into a perfect storm, with further increasing demand for home care and an acute staff shortage in this service area and in residential care.
"Indeed nationally, fewer people are now working in care than before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and in some parts of the country providers are having to make very difficult decisions about who they can support, sometimes resulting in people not getting the care they desperately need.
"We need to ensure that is not the case in Wolverhampton but the situation is becoming very concerning – and that's why we are encouraging people to consider a career in care.
"Every job has its merits but there are few things more rewarding than caring for another person, whether it is helping them with their short or long term care and support needs or simply with enjoying their day. At the end of each shift you will be able to head home with the knowledge that you’ve made a real difference to their quality of life.
"It's also a great starting point if you are interested in a career in nursing or social work, as you will build up a range of qualifications as a care worker. Working hours can be flexible, too, so for people who need to work around other commitments such as childcare or studying, a career in care has this benefit as well.
“There are currently plenty of vacancies in the sector so, if you are interested, please take a look at what is available in Wolverhampton.”
The council’s in-house, Care Quality Commission-registered care services require around 25 people between now and December to fill vacancies. These are in a variety of roles, full and part-time, including residential and home care support and reablement support, supporting older adults and adults with a learning disability.
These vacancies will be advertised on the WM Jobs website in due course, but to register your informal interest now, or to speak to someone about the posts in more detail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, many private sector providers in Wolverhampton are currently recruiting – please visit their websites or contact them directly for more information.
Residential care staff provide practical support to residents in a care home environment. Responsibilities can include washing, dressing and helping with everyday tasks, as well as providing emotional support or company.
Home care workers support people to remain independent in their own home by helping them with personal care, medication, household tasks such as cooking and shopping, and other activities which help them maintain their quality of life.
Reablement support workers can be residential or domicilliary and provide short term support to people for a few weeks to help them after a difficult period in their life, such as a stay in hospital.
Services also provide relief to some family carers who need to take a break from their caring responsibilities.