Have your say

This week’s Have your say discussion is about the rights
of older people, and we are asking if older people’s basic rights
are being denied by poor services and choices. We also asked if it
was realistic to expect local authorities to be able to offer a
wide range of residential care?

Have your say by clicking here
– your responses will appear in this section of the website
on 28 June.


In last week’s Have your say debate we asked for
suggestions on the best ways to tackle the social worker
recruitment crisis in London. The discussion forms part of
Community Care’s Care in the Capital week designed to
highlight the problem of staff shortages in London.

These are the responses we received:

This may seem a little obvious, and no doubt I
won’t be alone in saying this, but how about a ‘living wage’?

If I want to live in a studio flat with my partner then yes I
can manage.


Neil Cooper

Care Manager

Westminster Social & Community Services

St Mary’s Hospital

Having worked in the care field for 12 years I
feel I have a great deal of knowledge and support to offer, backed
up with a range of excellent references from both employed posts
and voluntary. As I began to climb the ladder I soon realised I
could only get where I wanted to go if I was qualified.

I approached my last employer to put forward a proposal that
would enable me to gain my DipSW only to be told without
negotiation no chance. There was a reluctance to invest (even
though I did not expect them to pay the full amount), and I was
happy with the organisation and wished only to widen my options
within it. This was alarming as I had seen many staff come and go
during my employment time with them, many of whom had attended
expensive one day course here and there. This prompted me to seek
another position with an organisation which has supported me in
gaining my DipSW.

The reason for this e-mail is prompted by discussions I have had
with other part time students on my course. Many had experienced
the same problems as I had, watching staff come and go, no support
for their own career development, having to go part-time so they
can study, negotiating their annual leave time so they can be
realised to college etc etc.

Many people go into the care profession to support and enable
others, which is very difficult when progression professionally is
refused. It is demoralising and frustrating to find yourself
treading water in your career.

I know the subject for discussion is attracting staff which is
difficult enough bearing in mind the poor pay, long hours and huge
responsibility, but not enabling people to be the most effective
professional they can isn’t a good advert either. In house, one day
courses are not enough to assist an individual who perhaps has just
undertaken a dramatic career change.

Having begun my DipSW I have now realised that for a long time I
was driven by passion and commitment to my client group, and was
relentless in my pursuit for best outcomes for them. Now upon
refection I have realised how much more confident and informed I
feel as I am now thinking outside my day-to-day in house

Coming from a climate of staff shortages it is painful to see
new staff come along and be expected to hit the ground running. I
feel if substantive training packages were offered that would
benefit both employers and employees ultimately it would only
benefit our respective client groups as well .

Advertising is expensive and so are the costs regarding
interviewing etc etc. The best way of attracting staff is by the
words of their employees. That’s how I found my current job and
thankfully they have lived up to all


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