Home care workers are over-stressed

Most home care workers are suffering increased workloads and
stress, a survey has found.

The research for Unison asked respondents what had changed in
their job over the past five years. Eighty per cent of respondents
believed that their job carried greater responsibility, and 78 per
cent said that they were under increased stress.

It also concluded that less than half of the 3,047 home carers
quizzed feel they are supported by their manager, and more than a
fifth are considering leaving their job.

Pay rates for the workers, most of whom are women, start at only
£4 per hour rising to a maximum of £6 per hour for
others. The average pay rate is between £5.12 and

Malcolm Wing, Unison’s head of local government, said: “This
first ever major survey of home care workers highlights some
important warning signs, that the government and local authorities
ignore at their peril.

“Labour has called for more home carers to free up hospital beds
by providing support and care in the home. But how are they to
recruit home carers when the existing workforce feels undervalued,
underpaid and unsupported?” he said.

Wing said the research carried out by NOP shows that the role of
home care workers has shifted away from domestic tasks to personal
and nursing care.

Other findings were that 51 per cent suffer back pain, with most
identifying their work as the cause. More than two-thirds say they
work in unsafe homes, with 59 per cent working in unsafe homes

Unison has launched a campaign to promote and develop home care
services, and to examine ways of improving pay, training and career

More details of Unison survey from 020 7383 0717.

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