Shortage of carers as demand for care is expected to rise

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:04 21 August 2017

Could You Care campaign.

Could You Care campaign.

Archant

The Mercury launched its new care campaign last week designed to highlight the issues of adult social care and attract more people into the profession.

North Somerset Council is looking for more carers.North Somerset Council is looking for more carers.

This week we reveal how much the council spends on its care services, what pressure the profession is under and how this is expected to change over the coming years.

North Somerset Council provides care for more than 2,800 people and is expected to spend £65.3million on adult social care in this financial year alone.

This includes £2.6million on residential care, £10.9million on nursing care, £9.4million on supported living and £7.5million on direct payments.

Adult social care accounts for 40 per cent of the council’s annual budget and these figures are expected to rise rapidly in coming years as more people are living longer.

This will put even more pressure on already-stretched council budgets and lead to an even greater demand for carers.

Hayley Verrico, assistant director of adult support and safeguarding for North Somerset Council, said: “The council is currently caring for 2,862 people.

“This figure does not include people accessing re-ablement and enablement services delivered to help an individual become independent following a period of hospitalisation or short-term illness.

“We are expecting the demand for carers to rise as there will be an increase in the number of people growing older and becoming more frail and an increase in children with very complex health and social care needs entering adult social care.

“We know that people generally prefer to be cared for at home and therefore the need for paid carers will increase.”

There is currently a huge shortage of paid carers and the council has just launched its Proud To Care campaign to try to attract more people into the profession and to showcase what a rewarding career it can be.

Mrs Verrico said: “There is a shortage of paid care assistants and the turnover in the sector is high.

“The care profession is often not seen as a career and the pay is low compared to some other unqualified jobs.

“Unemployment is generally low and therefore a paid care role is not often considered as a first choice of career.”

The council commissions a range of services to support people in the community including home care, supported housing, day care, community meals and access to occupational therapy and assistive technology equipment.

It also provides funding to the voluntary sector to run support groups and support for unpaid carers looking after elderly or 
sick relatives.

According to the census, which was carried out six years ago, there are 22,212 unpaid carers in North Somerset.

There are also estimated to be between 500 and 2,000 young carers in the area, who are playing a vital and unsung role supporting family members.

The council provides services to help unpaid carers including telephone advice and support and assessments to see if they are eligible for a personal budget to pay for respite and assistance.

There are also a number of services the council runs itself, or provides funding to support, including Carers Support Alliance which works directly with carers to help them manage and navigate the care system.

Email newsdesk@westonmercury.co.uk if you are a carer and wish to share your story and experiences as part of our care campaign in coming weeks or get in touch on Twitter using the hashtag #couldyoucare

For information on jobs in care, follow this link.

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