Caring for the carers

Caring for the Carers - workforce challenges post COVID

The Care Show Autumn Series of webinars explores key workforce challenges facing many employers in both residential and domiciliary care. 

The social care workforce has been nothing short of heroic over the past six months. The nation has acknowledged their compassion, skill and commitment. But, as winter approaches and a possible second wave of Coronavirus, social care providers need to ensure they’re doing their best to strengthen their workforce and promote resilience among their staff.

Securing the Social Care Workforce of Tomorrow

The social care sector is facing a staffing crisis. With Brexit progressing, the free movement of labour from Europe is set to be curtailed by January 2021.

The Government’s introduction of a new Immigration Bill will set out who gets into the UK going forward and it will prevent many social care workers coming from Europe.The sector is already struggling to recruit, with estimated shortages of around 122,000 roles and a quarter of staff on a zero-hours contract.

International recruitment is vitally important for social care and a restrictive immigration policy will make this harder.for social care and a restrictive immigration policy will make this harder.

A quarter of a million people from beyond the UK work in the sector. Some areas of the country are particularly reliant, with 40% of social care staff in London coming from overseas.

The Government is holding firm, suggesting that domestic recruitment is the way forward.

With large scale redundancies in certain sectors, and positive coverage of the social sector during the pandemic, the potential to attract new people into the sector is significant.


This session will consider the way forward for the social care workforce. It will offer views on how we can overcome the political and economic challenges to recruit and retain a higher quality workforce – that can drive standards and change the shape and standing of the sector.


This session will consider what constitutes effective mental health and well-being support; how it should be provided, and by whom.


Coronavirus - Promoting Staff Wellbeing and Mental Health

The social care workforce has faced significant mental, physical and welfare challenges over the past six months.

A range of staff-support responses evolved using different permutations of self-care advice, peer support, team-focused interventions and psychological first-aid. There has however been wide variation in the level of support. Where support has been inadequate, there’s a much greater risk of workforce burnout, lower productivity and increased levels of mental illness. Evidence suggests a high proportion of care professionals feel their mental health has declined since the start of the pandemic.

Many don’t believe the Government or their employer has done enough to protect both their mental and physical health. Social care is already facing significant recruitment and retention issues, without having to factor in more sick leave and staff considering alternative careers. The onus is employers and the Government to provide joined up, accessible support so that when staff are suffering stress, anxiety, bereavement or trauma, they know where to turn.

Diversity – Strengthening Social Care’s Leadership

The social workforce is incredibly diverse with people working in front line roles from different nationalities, ethnicities and sexualities.

However, out of a 1.55-million-strong adult social care workforce, only six percent of board roles at large care providers are performed by leaders from a black or minority ethnic (BAME) background, for example.

Raising this proportion is not just about equality, but also quality.

To deliver sensitive, bespoke services in places with diverse populations like Birmingham and London, care providers need to understand the people they’re trying to serve.

Furthermore, someone looking for care from a BAME or LGBT background is more likely to choose a provider that is led – not just delivered – by people of similar backgrounds. Current racial tensions have once again highlighted the lack of career progression experienced by many minorities – whether that be related to ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.

Too often the burden to promote diversity falls on existing health and social care leaders who are from minorities. Some are calling for legislation to make a real difference.


This session will consider how everyone can contribute to diversifying the leadership of social care organisations, and the implications for those organisations that deliver it.


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