National Care Forum: Increased turnover is risk to personalisation

A National Care Forum survey has revealed increased staff turnover for non-profit adult care providers, prompting fears over the effective delivery of the government’s personalisation agenda.

The annual survey, which covered 37,249 care staff from 35 member organisations, found turnover rose from 20.1% to 21.2% from 2007-8, while the rate for home care providers for older people shot up to 29.5% from 24.5%.

The proportion of people leaving their job within one year rose from 34.5% to 43.2% of leavers, with 62.5% leaving after two years. The rates were much higher for home care staff, with 54.2% of leavers quitting within a year, up from 49.9% in 2007.


NCF chief executive Des Kelly said: “The most disturbing result is the loss of so many care workers in the first year or two of work. As we enter a period of unprecedented change to deliver the policy of more personalised care and support services, a stable and well-trained workforce is crucial to success. The biggest threat to delivering personalisation is staff turnover in the care sector.”

Kelly said that that the need for improved pay and conditions for care workers was “self-evident”.

Colin Angel, head of policy and communication at the United Kingdom Homecare Association, said that the high turnover in home care was partly due to staff being poached by other social care employers. He said: “Sadly we’re seeing some organisations regarding home care being the entry level into something better.”

Angel added that home care workers needed to be “rewarded adequately” for their services. “That’s largely in the hands of local authorities who are buying 78% of state-funded care from the independent sector in England,” he said. “What a council is prepared to pay for an hour of care has a direct impact on the pay that a home care worker will receive.”

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