Report: ‘Carers are working in shops’

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Sharing a cup of tea and having a chat.
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A shortage of carers has been blamed on staff choosing to work in shops instead – because they get paid the same but with less stress.

And unless the problem is solved, people currently living at home will be forced into hospital or care homes, it has been warned.

Without sufficient care at home hours, people will be unable to sustain their presence at home whilst health care is delivered in the community

Members of the council’s health scrutiny committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the crisis, which has been described in documents as a ‘key challenge’.

“Providers report being unable to recruit sufficient staff and the wages they can afford to pay as they are competing with retail and other industries that pay the same for work that is less responsible, and more desirable,” a town hall report read.

“Adding £1 to the hourly rate paid to a care worker would cost the current commissioned care system £3.9 million, approximately 60 per cent of which is in care at home hours.”

Work is ongoing to ‘arrive at an affordable and fair price for care’, the report said.

But it added: “Without sufficient care at home hours, people will be unable to sustain their presence at home whilst health care is delivered in the community.”

The warning came amid record attendances at the cash-strapped Blackpool Victoria Hospital, with people urged to go to A&E only when necessary.

However, the area’s extensive care service, which offers specialist care for those over the age of 60 with two long-standing health problems, has seen the number of people admitted fall after being brought in last year.