Northern Ireland-based home care provider Connected Health is on track to recruit 100 care workers in just seven days, amid a staffing crisis in the sector.
Speaking to HCI, the company said it embarked on the “100 in 7” challenge last Tuesday and is “confident” it will hit its target after reaching 80 hires so far.
Connect Health said it’s “answering the call” to address the critical recruitment deficit which threatens to “cripple the sector” across Ireland and Great Britain.
The flash recruitment drive is part of a wider campaign by Connected Health to recruit many hundreds of new carers over the next 12 months in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.
To bolster the ‘100 in 7’ recruitment initiative in the North, the company said it is implementing a 4% pay increase.
Having become the first Real Living Wage accredited home care company in Northern Ireland earlier this year by giving its carers a minimum hourly wage of £9.50, Connected Health will now reward local staff with a minimum hourly rate of £10.
Connected Health is also offering a £100 (€100) ‘sign up’ bonus to each care worker who joins the company during August.
Connected Health Director, Ryan Williams (pictured left), says there is a “dire need” to attract more people into careers in care, as demand for home care continues to surge.
“The NHS and the HSE are facing the same issue – the need for more people to be discharged from hospital. As a sector, we require many more carers working on the ground in their communities in order to help achieve that.
“Currently health services are experiencing winter pressures in the middle of summer and drastic action is needed to meet the substantially increased demand for homecare workers.
“We are answering the call and this initiative is designed as much to raise awareness of the seriousness of the situation, as it is to help address it by increasing staff numbers. If we had a thousand suitable applicants tomorrow, we could easily provide roles for them and the situation is the same right around the care sector on the island of Ireland and in Great Britain.
“The entire care sector is under severe pressure to fill roles, as are other sectors – but to us there is nowhere more important than in care. We need more carers on the ground right now.”