Delays to processing drivers licences in the UK is exacerbating the recruitment crisis in the home care sector, a health think tank has said.
The Nuffield Trust warned in a recent blog post that the delays mean that the pool of staff from which providers can recruit is smaller than ever before, with some providers reporting that as few as one in five people applying for home care jobs have a licence.
“People living in rural areas will be most affected by the absence of sufficient numbers of staff able to reach them,” the charity added.
The DVLA issued a warning last month that paper applications are taking up to 10 weeks to process.
This is due to ongoing Covid safety measures and the impact of previous industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union.
The Nuffield Trust said the government needs to consider accelerating, or even subsidising, access to drivers licences for home care staff.
HCI reported last week more than 10,000 home care workers have left the sector over the last six months.
After analysing monthly analysed monthly experimental figures on the adult social care workforce in England, the Nuffield Trust found that in the six months to the end of October, the number of staff working in registered home care providers fell by around 10,834 (2.5%).
However, this might substantially underestimate the true fall given not all providers submitted data during that period, the think tank said.