More than half of Scotland’s home care services face problems filling staff vacancies

Home Caregiver with senior woman in bathroom

More than half of home care services with staff vacancies in Scotland have reported having problems with filling them, new research has revealed.

In the past year, 38% of all care services reported having vacancies, which is unchanged from the previous year, according to Care Inspectorate and Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

However, almost half (47%) of services reported having problems filling them, up 2% from the previous year, with 66% of home care services reporting that vacancies were hard to fill.

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Other services also had a proportion of services with vacancies significantly above the national average for all care services, including care homes (58%), housing support services (58%), and nurse agency services (65%).

The main reason why services found vacancies difficult to fill was not having enough or appropriate applicants applying for jobs.

Almost a quarter (24%) reported there were too few applicants applying for roles, and 18% reported there were too few applicants with the required experience.

The report was published in line with the launch of the Scottish Government’s adult social care recruitment campaign.

The government initiative, set to run for eight weeks, aims to attract new recruits into the adult social care sector, in particular in care homes, domiciliary care and housing support.

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “This report has been prepared to provide a national overview of the vacancy levels and recruitment difficulties reported by care services in their Care Inspectorate annual returns. 

“We know, of course, that numbers do not tell the whole story. The skills, experiences, and values of social care staff are just as critical as the right number of staff being employed.  

“However, going forward we expect to see more innovative solutions embraced by care providers and commissioners, as well as increased partnership working between social care services, local authorities and other key partners to ensure that the underlying issues around filling problem vacancies can be addressed.” 

Lorraine Gray, chief executive of the SSSC said: “A vital consideration when looking at vacancies in care services is making sure that social care attracts people with the right values, skills and experience to work in the sector. 

“The social service workforce is growing, there are more than 200,000 people working in the sector, which is almost 8% of all employment in Scotland, so there are lots of opportunities and different types of roles. 

“It’s a fulfilling and rewarding career which gives you the opportunity to work towards qualifications as part of a professional workforce making a positive difference to people’s lives.”    

Tags : Care InspectorateRecruitmentScottish Social Services Councilvacancies
Sarah Clarke

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