The Story of Social Care in Britain Today
Do you or someone you know, work in OR draw on social care?
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“My name is Brendan and I have cerebral palsy and a mild learning disability.
I’ve been living on my own for 6 years now in supported living and I’ve noticed a big difference in the past couple of years. There are not enough support workers at the moment. Sometimes there’s only one support worker on shift where I live. And they don’t get paid enough money for the work they do. The support workers don’t stay long because they leave for better-paid jobs.
I will get to know my support workers really well and develop a friendship with them. They learn how to communicate with me and support me. They learn how to spot when I’m upset. But then they’ll say they’re leaving as they’ve got another job. It’s upsetting when this happens. I get used to seeing them coming every day and they become a big part of my life. When they leave, I miss them. And then I need to show the new person how to support me all over again.
How are people with a learning disability meant to live independent lives when support workers are leaving for better-paid jobs? It’s time that support workers got the fair pay they deserve.”
PAIGE HALLIDAY, 28, IS A SUPPORT WORKER. SHE LIVES IN LEICESTER WITH HER THREE-YEAR-OLD SON, MILLER
“I moved into the care sector at the age of 20. I’d been working in retail since I left school at 16 and one day, I just thought, this is not for me anymore. One of my close friends worked in the sector and I could see how much he enjoyed his job, so when a position came up, I applied and got it.
A few months later I moved to Community Integrated Care and I have never looked back. I loved working in social care from the word go. Supporting someone and being able to make a difference in their life is a really rewarding thing to do. It sounds silly, but where I work really is like a home from home. I enjoy going to work and making the people we support smile. If they haven’t got any family, we become their family to them. It makes such a difference in their eyes.
In 2017 I went on holiday with my Dad. I went straight to my Mum’s house when I got back and suddenly felt a pain in my chest. It got worse and worse, so eventually, my mum called an ambulance, and I went to the hospital. It turned out I had a collapsed lung which the doctors thought might have been caused by the pressure from the plane when it was landing. I recovered and went on to have my son, Miller, later on, that year and thought that the problems with my lungs were over.
Then, in December 2019. I was on a date when the pain started in between my shoulders, followed by the top of my back, and then in my chest. I called an ambulance straight away and they took me to hospital, and it turned out my lung had collapsed again. As soon as it happened, I was in A&E wondering what I was going to do about work.
It was a frightening time. I needed to work to pay my rent and bills, but I was sick, and I knew there would be no way I could work. It was so stressful and scary. I had an operation five days later and had only been out of the hospital for two weeks when my other lung collapsed, and I had to have another operation.
My concerns about money became even more worrying. My manager immediately suggested I apply to Community Integrated Care’s Wellbeing Fund for financial assistance. I was awarded the grant and over the next three months, I received almost £3,000 worth of funding, which was more than I would have earned during that time. It was a Godsend. I’m so grateful. If it hadn’t been for that, I would have had to borrow money from my family to pay my rent which I would have struggled to pay back after being off work for so long recovering from both operations. It would have been very difficult.
Receiving the grant meant I could focus on getting well again, without having to worry about how I was going to pay the bills, but it’s a shame that it was needed. It would be even better if care workers were paid a higher wage in the first place; then we could put our own money aside to cover emergencies like this, rather than having to apply for extra support.”
Lesley McCormack is a support worker for people with learning disabilities.
“I’ve been a support worker for nearly 17 years now. I love my job. No day is ever the same. I do everything from personal care, supporting people in hospital, giving medication, PEG feeding, taking people to activities and sorting out their finances. I’m proud to have built up my skills.
I’m now learning Makaton so I can communicate with people with profound learning disabilities. I do my best for the people I support. I’ll go with them to GP and hospital appointments. I’ve even been in the recovery room when they’ve had operations, so they wake up to a friendly face.
I had a lady who sadly passed away ten years ago with no family, so my colleagues and I took care of her funeral. It was a privilege to do this for her. I recently supported a woman to have her Covid vaccines. She was terrified of needles, but I used my communication skills to keep her calm so she could have the vaccines. Her mum was over the moon.
I’m currently supporting 3 young women with a learning disability. They want to live their lives to the full, just like other young women their age. They just need a bit of extra support to do this.
When I talk to people about my job, people are shocked when they hear what I earn. With the cost of living going up, I have to work extra shifts to make ends meet. I’m also being transferred to a service closer to home because I’m struggling to afford the petrol to work.”
“I work in a private care home, and we suffer from constant understaffing it is also an EMI home and we have lots of very challenging residents.
No staff member has had any de-escalation training and has no idea how to deal with these people, this results in many staff members being attacked, I myself had a standing hoist kicked over by foot by a resident which lead to a DVT and blood clots on my lungs which nearly resulted in my death.
I feel there is no support for care workers like me “
“I work as a support worker in a dementia care home. The work that I and thousands of other care workers do is both physically and emotionally demanding.
The skills I need to have are many and as varied as the people i care for. The training is constant covering the wide range of skills needed for this work. Never have I held a post that required so many different skills.
There is no typical day we deal with everything you can imagine and more. Personal care, moving and handling to aid mobility. Infection control, serving food and food hygiene. Emotional support to reassure people they are safe loved and cared for. Liaising with family friends and professionals. Organising activities to lift spirits and improve quality of life.
Paperwork and record keeping. This is a summary of what care workers do. So then what more do I need to do to be skilled enough for decent pay?
We are trusted to look after people at the worst and most difficult times in their life. Should we not ensure that the people doing that very important work are appropriately rewarded for it.
If we value our social care workers more it will attract the best people and encourage them to stay. We are worth it and so are your elderly loved ones. This government needs to stop letting both parties down. “
“I will be talking about myself as a care worker without sickness pay and losing the ability to work. I used to work between 7 in the morning and 10pm with 2 hours brake to be able to have “‘normal” life because on the carer’s pay I thought I could not work only half day to afford financial security.
In 2021 I have been diagnosed with breast cancer, went through mastectomy, radiotherapy. Obviously on statutory sicknesses pay I would not be able to survive.
As a reason of that I had to try working as soon as I could do something than sleep, building my hours after each treatment period. Unfortunately treatment was very hash, reduced my ability to work, aggravated symptoms of fibromyalgia which I suffer with also. My mental state deteriorated badly (deep depression). I have been working on severe pain and on painkillers exploiting my body to maximum (only part time). Situation caused next health problem – narrowing down spaces in my knees.
Now rising costs of everything. I do not know why we talking only about pay rise for nurses and doctors as if other (worse payed) profession would not exist. Resources diversion is not right.
“A quick glimpse of my life as a carer:
First call is at 6.30 am, I will then do 7 or 8 am calls. I can scan out of my last AM call anywhere between 10.30-11.30. Lunch calls can start from 11 am, of which I make between 5-7 calls. I scan out of the last call between 2.30-3.30 Tea calls start at 3 pm.
Again I will make 5-7 calls finishing last call between 6-7. Bed calls start 6.30. I will make 7-9 calls finishing between 10-11pm. Travel time is given at 5 mins.
The majority of journeys take between 5-10 mins on a clear run, which has taken 20 mins at times due to traffic during school runs. The 5 mins are from when I scan out of my call and scan into my next call. This does not take in to consideration the time to lock/unlock doors, retrieve keys and put them back into the key safe, get to my car, for which we can not always park outside, and get PPE needed for call.
At present in our branch, we have 8 working carers, assisted by the branch manager and field supervisor in the evenings, to cover approximately 79 calls in 1 day, 24 of which require 2 carers.
With this in mind, we do not get regular breaks to eat properly. If we finish late, not enough sleep before starting the day. I have worked over 70 hrs in 1 week on a number of occasions, and so have many of my colleagues. Fuel allowance is nowhere near adequate at 30p a mile.
I have just filled my car with fuel at 1.99 a litre. As I can use over £10 in fuel just doing my morning calls, I see I am actually paying myself to work. This does not include the wear and tear on my car, or the business insurance I have to pay for. ‘
This does not make being a carer a very attractive job for those who are considering it. You may do 8-9 hrs worth of call hours a day, but in reality, it can be 12hrs or more taking into factor travel times so family and personal life start to disappear.
At present, my health is now starting to suffer and I am having to consider giving up my job which I enjoy doing. I used to be a registered general nurse for 20 yrs but was unhappy with how the NHS was going.
I see now that problems in social care are a lot worse with no incentive for anyone to join. I can only see this getting worse leaving many vulnerable people at risk of ending up in hospital this putting added strain on hospitals and care homes.
Health and social care in this country used to be what I was proud of. Unfortunately after years of mismanagement, poor funding and disrespect to all staff who work within these settings, I fear it will collapse before I may be in need of this help if nothing is done to make the job more attractive and affordable for those looking at joining the caring profession.
I would love the opportunity to meet my MP on lobby day, but unfortunately will be too busy working.
My other concern regarding the lack of carers is the lack of training. I have not yet met a carer that has had any training apart from a couple of days of induction. They have not been informed of the importance of medication or have a basic knowledge of possible side effects. But even observations are needed when washing etc in keeping an eye on the client’s health and well-being.
Basic hygiene within the home, the importance of cleanliness and respect for their homes. Practices that were banned from hospitals over 10 years ago are still acceptable in their homes. No ongoing training apart from health and safety manual handling. The list is huge.”
“I joined the care sector 13yrs ago I was very fortunate to be given a job in the dementia care world within 6 months I was given an award for working above and beyond my job description. Can you imagine how great it was to be appreciated for just enjoying my work?
A couple of years passed by, and I was asked to attend a continence seminar at the NEC in Birmingham. I was able to grab the attention of over 1200 nurses and GPs from all over the country – this was looking back the highlight of what was a great job I was lucky to get.
I was approached by my company to step up into a senior role (something I didn’t want to do but my manager told me that stepping up would allow me to mould a good team of people into delivering the very best care to the amazing residents.
I continued bringing together and strong committed team of fantastic carers then COVID ARRIVED in the very first weeks of the pandemic I was unfortunate to contract the unknown virus. We like many care homes suddenly lost so many people it was the darkest of times, but we were promised by the entire world that we would not be taken for granted EVER AGAIN.
Two years on and my once fantastic company NEED to make financial cutbacks leaving me and so many great carers completely devastated.
I offered my company a simple question to possibly consider paying the very best salary to employ a large number of HR employees and be the first company to be able to pick the cream people not the yoghurt and in doing so show the country how to look after the very vulnerable people. The sadness is that not only can I no longer hear the country clapping on a Thursday, I no longer am able to support and care for my residents.”
“Hello, my name is Natasha. I have worked in social care with adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems and dementia.
I have seen first-hand how much we do daily for minimum wage. Yet people who work in supermarkets and stack shelves and even cleaners get paid more than we do. How can that be fair?
We help individuals, promote lifetime skills and work 24/7 365 days a year. We deal with very challenging behaviour too – I have been spat at and physically assaulted.
We still care because we understand it’s not their fault – yet we are paid so little. I really think social care needs massive funding. Pay support workers/carers a fair wage. Especially with the cost-of-living crisis.”
“My story is about being a Tuped staff member and lack of pay rises. I was employed initially as a healthcare assistant in 1995, working with adults who have learning disabilities and mental health issues in a small community-based setting.
I am NVQ Leval 3 qualified and worked up to the top of band 3 on pay structure, and through agenda for change, I do get additional pay for any unsocial hours worked.
However the NHS put us out to tender in 2006, due to a government white paper coming into play, during this transition period our job titles changed to a community support worker, but we were expected to increase our workloads which included giving out medication, finances, increase in amount of paper work to complete, we have less time to spend with people we support.
My workload has increased but the wages I get do not reflect this, one pay rise since being tuped, if I was still a HCA with less responsibility I would get significantly more wages.
I feel that I do not get recognised for my 26 years of service within my pay. At the moment on long-term sick and find it really hard to make ends meet as not being paid correctly for being off.”
“One of the worse things is that when you work in the care homes or care in the community you are only entitled to SSP after 3 days off sick. SSP is a third of min wage. If, like our care home, we work 3 x 12-hour days means we only get sick pay on week two.
We are forced then to work when ill. We need companies to pay sick pay like other companies. Especially as we work with vulnerable people. The excuse is people will take the mickey and take lots of days off. But that is a very small minority and will soon be found out. It gets even worse if you need an operation.
I was told I might need a hysterectomy and could be off sick for 3 months. Luckily it did not come to that, but I would need to save £3000 to go alongside my SSP to pay the bills. It would be great if the government could look at these kinds of things and bring in laws to help the workers.
If you could have a min of 5 days paid sick pay a year and at the end of the year you got any days you did not use as a bonus it could stop people taking days off for nothing.
Also long term sick when operations have occurred SSP topped up to 80% of wages would take lots off stress of workers. The government needs to create a standard of working conditions, there’s plenty for maternity, health and safety etc but nothing that protects or gives workers any contractual rights.
We should have some extra pay to recognise unsociable hours and experience that has been gained for long service. I worked for years in companies where terms and conditions were above and beyond.
The care homes are not breaking any laws, but they are all doing the same, giving nothing that they have to so must be keeping monies for their own profit. Now companies are struggling to get and keep staff so it’s an ideal time to get some better terms and conditions. “
“I work in adult social care. Wages have not kept up with inflation, and we have lost a significant percentage of our pay, due to inflation and inadequate or no pay rises.
For this reason I and several colleagues have had to move out of Bristol, as housing has become too expensive, and pay has not kept up with the local housing costs. We have consistently over several years been asked to reduce support for vulnerable citizens as much as we can, under the guise of promoting independence, but as this has been going on for years, it does not seem possible to keep cutting whilst meeting assessed eligible needs.
It has been suggested that we should make more use of community services, a lot of which have been cut, due to funding cuts. We now more frequently have to request an agreement from senior managers for new and increased support, and I’m finding they are beginning to refuse requests, more than previously, which I guess must be due to the substantial reductions in local authority funding.
Our team is short-staffed, and several people have left, without being replaced. The job has become less rewarding, as when you assess someone’s support needs and identify services that could help, but get told that either this will not be agreed, or that you have to do a lot more work than previously to justify it, it can be disheartening.
These issues make the job more pressured, and several colleagues have gone off sick with stress. I’ve been advised by managers that recruitment is difficult.”
“Understaffed, low pay, a reduced holiday for a pay rise, working hours are soul destroying, finish at 10 pm then start at 7 am the next day.
Most people walk around like a zombie due to lack of sleep or the fact they have to do 15-hour shifts just to survive.
Our clients’ timetables/schedules are obliterated due to lack of consistent staff, lack of staff or lack of 2 to 1 staff meaning they don’t go out due to the restraints put on them by their care package which is normally out of date so the company can still claim the staff hours.”
“In the years I’ve worked as a domiciliary care worker, I have seen scores of people leave the job saying how much they enjoyed the work but… …biggest reason for people leaving- no paid travel time or for gaps in the rota.
This results in less than minimum wage…illegal but widespread. I get sent 17 miles away for one call of 2 hours ie £21.00. No mileage is paid…would you do it?
On another day I am sent 10 miles for a 1-hour call. again no mileage or travel time was paid. I believe there would be a drastic improvement in staffing rates if pay and conditions were fair and legal.
Obviously, the knock-on effect of improved staff retention would be huge and would address some of the other issues that carers face. At one employment, I would be hounded in my time off or A/L to come into work. Even when I said no they would continue all avenues including Facebook messenger to get hold of us and we felt guilt-tripped.
At one time I was starting work at 6:30 in the morning through till 10.30 pm at night with two hours off for lunch. Not including the lunch break was 14 hours of which I would be 200 xxx paid for around 10 of those, the rest would be driving unpaid. I once did four days running like that. I slept in my car in the lunch break to have the energy to continue to the end of my shift.
Just before Covid was announced I became very ill during one of those long day shifts. All the symptoms of Covid. I telephoned my work to say I would not be able to do the 4 to 10 shift that day. They called me back later to say I would have to as they could not get cover. Fair pay = improved retention rates = solution to the above issues.”
“I have worked in Social Care for over six years.
I love the job however some days can be very challenging.
As Social Care workers, we have to keep up with our training courses along with all our other workloads. We are more than a Care/Support workers, we are a friend, family members, companions, Doctors, Nurses, Cook, Cleaner, Driver and much more! Many of us have to administer medication.
We are the first people to notice when our service users are unwell, frightened, and anxious. We are vastly underpaid especially if we work with Mental Health and challenging behaviour.”
“Hi there, below is a list of issues that are prominent in my job role working in adult social care: Lack of staff and stretching of current staff leading to more staff leaving or feeling undervalued and 1:1s being unfulfilled; Low pay relative to the cost of living; Internal issues not being addressed by relevant persons such as management or head office; A high turnover of staff throughout a period of time;
Effects still felt from covid restrictions, for example, staff who left due to pressure on the state for vaccine mandates never came back and support services not as well run or attended since being set back up; Feeling unsupported by management, lack of communication and sometimes avoidance.”
“I have worked in care for around 14 years, working with learning disabilities, autism and mental health, most of the individuals I have the pleasure of supporting lack capacity in all areas of their lives.
The work of a carer/support worker has become more demanding, we are now expected to check blood pressure, oxygen levels etc as part of our role, as well as cook clean, complete health and safety, and the paperwork is horrendous.
We have very little time to interact with the individuals we support, Life as a carer/support worker can be very demanding and mentally draining as well as physically.
How can we only be worth minimum wage, when lives depend on us, when people can’t tell us there str not well, and they rely on us for all their needs, to keep them safe, healthy, etc.
It’s a disgrace and I feel things with health and social care will never change and we will always be seen as the unskilled workers. “
“I’m a practitioner in a nursing home and I worked through the covid crisis. We never got half of the recognition the NHS got. We were forgotten. We struggled to find PPE. We struggled to man our home. We doubled up on shifts and left our family behind.
We deserve better.”
JORDAN CONROY, 26, IS A DEPUTE SERVICE LEADER BASED IN PORTSMOUTH.
“My Dad passed away unexpectedly in December 2020. It came as such as surprise and my three sisters and I were devastated. We were still in shock over his death when our thoughts quickly turned to how we were doing to pay for his funeral and give him the best possible send-off.
It was around that time that I read something about the average funeral being between £3k-£4k and neither my sisters nor I had that sort of money. My Dad had no savings or life insurance either and we were thinking about selling some of our personal items or taking out a bank loan. Then one day, I noticed something in my work emails from my employer, Community Integrated Care about a Wellbeing Fund they ran for staff in financial difficulties and I decided to apply.
When I found out I had been awarded the money, I cried because the feelings were so overwhelming. It was a mixture of being upset and being relieved and I remember video-calling my sisters and seeing the relief on their faces too. We were able to give my Dad the send-off he deserved in the end and I am so grateful that we were able to make it that bit more personal, but we could only do that because of the Wellbeing Fund.
If I didn’t work for an organisation that had things like this in place for their colleagues, I genuinely don’t know what we would have done. The experience of not being able to afford to pay for my Dad’s funeral was an upsetting one. That situation, combined with my first-hand experiences of dealing with some of the challenges that social care workers have to face on a day-to-day basis, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic, has made me certain that the pay should be better.
Being on a low wage can feel really degrading and I do feel we deserve more. I have got friends who don’t work in care, and they don’t have to worry about money. They will message me and tell me what they’re doing that weekend and ask me if I fancy it, but I often can’t afford to do the things they’re doing and especially not on impulse.
When you earn a low wage, you have to pre-plan everything and save for stuff monthly, rather than being able to do it immediately. But despite the low pay, I love making a difference. I support adults who have complex learning disabilities. I love seeing them smile as we support them to live independently and achieve their goals. You just can’t beat that feeling.”
“I started as a support worker 12 years ago getting paid minimum wage and a barely making enough to live off let alone thrive off, I stuck with it though as I have a real passion for supporting people and seeing them excel in their lives. I have been in the past been forced to work over 200 hours a month just to earn enough to pay rent/bills and buy food and other essentials.
The issue I have is both that we are underpaid but also undervalued, to class us a unskilled worker is highly inappropriate, I have been a support worker, counsellor, sports coach, handy person and much more.
On the Underpaid point, when providers can only pay minimum wage because those funding can only pay just above minimum wage the system will not work. If you keep cutting the hand that feeds then the hand that takes cannot, and then the services they provide are affected.
In short cutting services put more pressure on the wider healthcare community, so paying fair for care workers will help the NHS and in turn take pressure of those in charge of the country.”
“I have worked as a care support worker for 32 years. I work extremely long hours with no extra pay I am on minimum wage and 30 pound for sleep in I am responsible for 5 service users with learning difficulties often working on my own. As much as I love my job it is mentally exhausted I feel under valued and under paid not everyone can do this job. I worked all through covid, work bank holidays and Xmas. I really thought we would be recognised after covid and our wages increased. I am struggling like everyone is this week I have worked 65 hrs! We need to be recognised for the great job we all do.”
“I have worked in social care for forty years and in the learning disability sector and still work as a support worker but have seen many changes. There is always a staff shortfall and the trust have problems recruiting and retaining staff. We have Agency staff but this effects the consistency of care and some agency staff don’t show the same commitment as contracted staff. Also the role of support worker has changed and there is more lone working and responsibilities and the pay does not reflect the many tasks we do. Also, there is less presence of senior members of staff as they are doing admin or home working, so overall social care staff deserve a fair pay as many of us work additional hours to top up our wages etc and get the recognition we deserve.”
“I work in social care.
We are supposed to be trained almost to the level of nurses and yet we get paid just above minimum wage.
We are at the coal face of abuse from families for the shortfalls of the companies we work for – who make us work on a shoestring budget.
We have to work with less and less staff. When companies need to save money, it is always at the staff’s expense.
We should be paid as skilled Labour and not as unskilled Labour. We are certainly not unskilled.”
“I have worked in social care for 2 years.
Within 2 months I was leading the shift, responsible for very vulnerable people, and administering medication including controlled drugs, I was with someone when they died, and I’ve willingly gone into a Covid-hot care home. All for minimum wage!
I can’t strike – the people I support would not survive.”
“Hi, my name is Jean Mongoue.
I’m an RA (Rehabilitation assistant).
Our day at work is so stressful; long day shifts with staff shortages and untrained agency workers stepping in.
All that for £9.50, and no extra bonuses.
Nothing good is being done so far.”
“Hi, here is my story.
I am a single mum working in social care as a Mental Health support worker.
My pay doesn’t match inflation and never had and even before the cost-of-living crisis I am poorer every year. My shoes have holes, my clothes are hand-me-downs from my friend and I am in debt and physically and mentally unable to work more hours than the full-time I do now.
I get verbal and physical abuse at work all day every day for £9.70 an hour. I am in debt from car repair bills to get to work.
People look down on social care workers and our wages completely reflect this – we are not valued at all by society. I cannot even afford clothes and I feel humiliated, poverty is degrading and draining.
I am beyond exhausted and yet I am supposed to find the energy to put others first and protect their dignity when I have none of my own left.”
“I have worked in Care for 11yrs, and I have seen and felt almost everything possible!
Throughout the years the respect for Care workers has just declined and we have been forgotten about, even now after the Pandemic!
We work 15 hr shifts plus overtime to accommodate the residents and although for most workers, the pay doesn’t matter… it’s getting to the point now, where it does! What we are paid, does not reflect the work we do. We deserve more now, as do the residents!
The funding is shocking, and nothing has changed, to be honest… they shouldn’t have to sell their homes to pay for their own social care, that’s what the pension pays for! Something must change about this and fast.”
“I work in the private sector, specifically supporting vulnerable adults with disabilities such as Autism, split personality and others.
My fellow workers and I endure 13-hour shifts with no breaks, eating dinner when the service users do.
This home is supposed to aid people back into the community and be more independent but fails in this with people who should be 1 to 1 having shared care on a regular basis.
If staff did not care for the people we support we would have quit en-masse.
Finally, the safety of staff also comes low on our employer’s list, their answer to some of the more violent people is to wear a cap! Female staff have been assaulted and touched, all staff have been threatened with knives and broken glass and verbally abused for £9.50 an hour.”
“I have worked in social care for 30 years, and we have never been respected by any other area that cares for people whether it be hospital district nurses doctors etc.
We are told when we can have holidays, we pay for our own car’s maintenance – we have just started to receive 30p a mile petrol.
My rota runs as follows: (not true names) Mrs jones 8 to 8.30 Mrs smith 8.30 to 9.30 but it takes 10 min to get there so the actual time is 8.40 to 9.40 but it should be at Mildred at 9.30 but don’t get there till 9.50 to 10.20 but I should be at molly at 10 but don’t get there till 10.30 to 11.30 this goes on until you have worked between 1 hour to 1and 1/2 hr a day for nothing totalling up to 7and half hours a week for nothing, that’s if you work part-time the girls/gents working full time loose much more, you don’t get a chance for drink or food.
I love my job that’s why I’m still here 30 years on, but the job is becoming harder to do not because of the job we do it’s the cost it cost us to do it. We do online training we have to do in our own time this can take hrs to do but it’s your own time you’re doing it.
I feel in times to come we will have no one doing this job as it cost us carers to do the job. It’s not a job a single person can do – as you could not survive on the wage and more so over the past few years.”
“I work in residential care for adults with learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.
We are on £9.61 per hour and our shifts are changed constantly at the drop of a hat and we’re pestered to pick up more and more shifts without any “overtime bonus”.
We wear far too many hats carer, friend, cleaner, cook, fire marshal, nurse, admin therapist you name it we do it.
We are woefully undervalued and underpaid.
Private-owned social care should be held to the same standards of pay as the NHS, seeing as the government also pay these companies to look after these adults etc.
I transferred from day staff to night staff due to my shifts being changed every day without warning and just being told to “check the rota every day” however it was advertised as 4-week rotas but changed daily.
Training has been poor for over 15 months with this company, and I still haven’t had my medication training on nights it’s “waking night” and no extra pay for the unsociable hours and sometimes we’re requested to do Late Nights starting at 14:30 and not finishing until 07:45. The job advertisement stated that after the probationary period had passed we would get our NVQ level 2 in social care paid for by the company however due to “funding” this has not been the practice for years.
Mental health isn’t taken seriously at least by my manager as I myself have started suffering from it due to a change in a work situation (having to work with 2 specific people” and upon requesting to change shifts I got told basically my mental health isn’t as important as one of the staff feel like they’re fitting in. Thank you Night Staff Member – Adults with learning difficulties, complex needs and challenging behaviours.”
“As a social care worker in the community, the work is both hard and challenging.
We don’t have enough staff – call times are cut short meaning the word ‘care’ has actually gone out of the profession/community.
We can’t give our full care and attention to the client, we can’t sit down and have a chat and we barely have enough time to grab a drink.
Fuel costs are also crippling this job and very low pay for what is expected of a carer.
Because of the pressure of not having enough care staff the companies are asking even more of you expecting you to work on days off and putting extra calls on you the job is so stressful and I’ve contemplated coming out of the care system after 25 years.
The constant battle between carers and office staff is sometimes unbearable. Unless something changes and other carers will be choosing other jobs. (You could stack shelves in a supermarket for more money and less stress.)”
“I work in adult social care.
Wages have not kept up with inflation, and we have lost a significant percentage of our pay, due to inflation and inadequate or no pay rises. For this reason, I and several colleagues have had to move out of Bristol, as housing has become too expensive, and pay has not kept up with the local housing costs.
We have consistently over several years been asked to reduce support for vulnerable citizens as much as we can – under the guise of promoting independence, but as this has been going on for years.
It does not seem possible to keep cutting whilst meeting assessed eligible needs.
It has been suggested that we should make more use of community services, a lot of which have been cut, due to funding cuts. We now more frequently must request an agreement from senior managers for new and increased support, and I’m finding they are beginning to refuse requests more than previously, which I guess must be due to the substantial reductions in local authority funding.
Our team is short-staffed, and several people have left without being replaced. These issues make the job more pressured, and several colleagues have gone off sick with stress. I’ve been advised by managers that recruitment is difficult. The job has become less rewarding, as when you assess someone’s support needs and identify services that could help, but get told that either this will not be agreed, or that you have to do a lot more work than previously to justify it, it can be disheartening.
“After 20 years in the social care system, we have a number of issues – lack of pay rise in the last ten years, difficulty in funding training to help development and progression, lack of communication in health/police/ social services, not enough council provisions for children or adults private sectors with no cap on funding.
Unsociable hours need to be more highly paid.”