Community Care launches Care in Capital campaign to highlight recruitment crisis in London

Vulnerable people are being left without consistent and reliable
support because the shortage of social workers in London has
reached crisis point, according to a report, writes
Sally Gillen

The study, ‘Is anyone out there?’, commissioned by
Community Care was launched this week as part of
Care in the Capital, a week-long campaign to draw attention to the
recruitment crisis in London.

It reveals that London councils have vacancy rates of between 25
and 40 per cent, rising to 80 per cent in some individual teams.
Poor image and lack of understanding of social work, overstretched
services and poor pay and conditions are among the reasons
highlighted for the shortage.

Speaking at the launch the report, author Anthony Douglas,
executive director of community services at Havering council, said
that changes should be made to the working conditions.

Many workers suffered psychologically from the widespread use of
short-term contracts, which he said should be replaced by long-term
ones, said Douglas.

The average stay in a job in London is nine months, which
destroyed any sense of stability.

He added that agency work was an attractive option for many
people because it often offered, not only better pay, but other
perks such as free pensions advice that many local authorities did

He warned that unless issues of pay were addressed “most of the
others factors will not kick in”.

Lionel Took, a member of the department of health’s
recruitment and retention taskforce, promised to “do more to make
sure that you are supported in this very important job”.

Social care work was a key part of the government modernisation
agenda, he said.

“Social workers do a great job,” said Took, adding: “I am
delighted to thank you for being a force for good in this

Care in the Capital is supported by Celsian.

to download full report and print it.

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