Winter is coming and so is the pressure in maintaining quality of care during this season.
The British Medical Association warned in June of a “ticking time bomb” and said years of chronic underfunding, severe staffing shortages and a growing elderly population meant that many in the future, particularly the most deprived, would not get the care they need. “This situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and government proposals to shape the future of social care have fallen significantly short of what is needed,” it said.
Many care/residential homes and those who deliver care at home face severe struggle in sourcing out the adequate number of workers to deliver care in their localities. The winter pressure will be an added layer of difficulty in making sure that those who are vulnerable will be able to get the care they need.
The NHS alone is facing its toughest winter on record. It found England is now short of 12,000 hospital doctors and more than 50,000 nurses and midwives, calling this the worst workforce crisis in NHS history.
It said a reluctance to decisively plug the staffing gap could threaten plans to tackle the Covid treatment backlog.
The government said the workforce is growing and NHS England is drawing up long-term plans to recruit more staff.
Whilst many people are still against getting more migrants into the country to fill the gap in healthcare, international recruitment has been by far the most effective solution to UK’s shortage of health workers.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our new international recruitment taskforce is considering innovative ways to boost staffing numbers within health and adult social care. As part of this, we will work with the sector and recruitment experts to examine how to recruit staff from overseas more effectively into adult social care.”
Health Secretary Steve Barclay wants the overseas recruitment spree to include sending NHS managers to countries such as India and the Philippines to hire thousands of nurses, The Times reported.
Figures from NHS Digital showed the share of healthcare staff recruited from overseas almost doubled between 2014 and 2021, according to BBC analysis on August 5.
The same is the case in the private sector where more and more care providers have decided to take on international recruitment in order to keep up with not just the demand but to take on the opportunity to grow and expand their business.
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Winter is coming, but there is still time to get your carers on board (even when it means getting temp work). Speak to us.