Why Skilled Carers are the Future of Private Home Care Services
30th August 2023
Every private home care agency relies on the expertise, compassion and knowledge of their workforces, delivering personal care to families and individuals in their local communities and ensuring they can continue to enjoy an independent life with the personalised assistance they require.
One of the core issues facing many local authority care providers is that a focus on facilities and financing overlooks the fundamental importance of skilled carers, where low pay rates, a lack of opportunities for training and progression or poor job satisfaction cause many to leave the profession.
At Guardian Angel Carers, we recognise and acknowledge the quality care services every CareAngel delivers. We have developed sector-leading remuneration packages to ensure every carer across our home care services thrives, with proactive support to progress, learn and upskill.
The Fundamental Importance of Expertise in Private Home Care
Domiciliary care within a person’s own home is a valuable service, where qualified carers deliver support that can vary depending on the individual’s needs, from long-term live-in care to regular visiting care or specialist care to help with people living with conditions such as dementia.
Each person who accesses home care for themselves or their loved ones depends on the helpful staff, company and kindness a care team delivers as an alternative to residential care. Home care is often a welcome way to organise a comprehensive service without the upheaval or distress of having to leave home.
Continually developing our employment, recruitment and retention policies has been a pivotal aspect of the growth of Guardian Angel Carers across the UK, listening to requests, understanding priorities and making home care a fantastic sector to work in, with the right salaries, support structures and encouragement to ensure excellent carers are seen and rewarded.
As a sector, social care contributes around £40.5 billion to the British economy, and so reforming and transforming the way a care team is remunerated and signposted to further training, professional qualifications, and opportunities to upskill fosters an environment where care professionals are proud of the service they deliver and see a clear pathway to progression.
Demand for specialist support in an individual's own home is also growing significantly as the population ages and more and more families become aware of the potential to remain comfortable in the familiar surroundings of a person's own home, making staffing a key priority across the field of home care.
Issues Leading to Long-Term Vacancies in Home Care Services
The acute issues around staffing and home care vacancies have been widely reported, with the pandemic emphasising the inherent need for the experience and skills healthcare and home care staff bring to their service users. Multiple and complex reasons drive the difficulties with staff recruitment and retention, in the numbers and with the character and knowledge essential to quality home care services.
While there is no one solution, the primary issues include:
- Carers finding different careers with higher pay rates and less stress and responsibility.
- Workforce shortages due to sickness rates, stress-related absences and persistent understaffing.
- Conflicts where agencies or local councils rely on agency staff, with disputes around contrasting pay, and where patients are less trusting of new carers they do not know.
Part of the way forward is to review how carers are rewarded for their achievements and make home care an attractive, rewarding and well-paid position. The problem affects all areas of social care, including care homes, NHS services and other public healthcare departments, with turnover rates of 38.2% in UK care homes recorded in February 2022.
In short, that metric indicates that over a third of care workers in care homes have decided to leave, many citing low morale, negative workplace culture or simply insufficient pay to compensate for the level of responsibility required.
Our Approach to Recruitment and Retention
Our model has been proven to work, offering job security, a broad range of benefits and bonus schemes, an inclusive and positive care community, and ultimately a company CareAngels are happy to represent and be a part of.
While specific salaries and rewards vary with positions and differ between general care and support and more advanced care, such as delivering dementia care within a person's own home, we offer:
- Outstanding pay rates with additional pay for certain hours, such as bank holiday working.
- Fully paid mileage and other care-related expenditure.
- Discounts through the Blue Light Scheme, varied bonus structures and rewards.
- Flexible work patterns and shifts to fit around family obligations and carer availability.
Investing in our workforce means we attract the most talented candidates for care vacancies across our nationwide branches, cementing our focus on standards and making every service user feel respected and able to engage and contribute to their own care planning.
This approach pays dividends through the warm testimonials our clients and their families provide, our reputation for understanding and highly skilled care, and the continued expansion of our branches as we address the need for better care and better value in new locations.
Matching Exceptional Care With Home Care Budgets
Families and individuals have the freedom to choose their care provider, often using their Attendance Allowance to contribute towards the cost of care and accessing direct payments from their local council following a financial assessment.
One of the advantages of home care is that people can access quality care, or nursing care for those living with medical conditions, with financial support, free advice and a personal budget available – despite common misunderstandings about how income support can be utilised.
Balancing the need for tailored, person-first, compassionate care with a firm commitment to workplace culture, training, mentoring, and fair pay enables us to show how home care services can respond to pressures and demands, making private care, specialist support and palliative care accessible, fit for purpose and profitable for our franchisees.
Prospective franchise investors keen to learn more and families looking for the best care for complex health needs are welcome to contact our friendly Guardian Angel Carers customer care team anytime for further information.