Unquestionably, healthcare has been one of the most severely affected industries during the Covid-19 pandemic. Overstretched, understaffed and with a myriad of safety concerns, workers have remained dedicated to the care of others, in the face of unimaginable adversity.
Domiciliary care has arguably been the forgotten poor relative within healthcare. Faced with high staff turnover, low wages, and continual recruitment difficulties, prior to the global pandemic there were already many barriers for leaders to overcome.
For the first time, a spotlight has been shone upon the sector, highlighting these obstacles, and the challenging conditions people continue to work under. Covid-19 and the combined ill-timing of Brexit, has meant this already severely strained sector, is now at breaking point.
The Health Foundation report that 24% of workers in domiciliary care are on zero-hour contracts. While this may suit some people well, others find it very difficult in terms of budgeting, job stability and career progression.
Additionally, the sector has traditionally relied upon migrant workers to fill many roles – a not insignificant 17%. Brexit now makes this a considerable issue. Coupled with low and often stagnant rates of pay, domiciliary care can often be seen as a less-than-attractive career plan.
And while talent and retention are serious issues, leaders must also prioritise the health and wellbeing of their people already working within the sector. Workers have witnessed more than 4,500 Covid related deaths in the past 12 months and are at risk of acute long-term effects. PTSD, depression, burnout, and anxiety for example are of high concern according to Kings College London.
HR must take steps now to not only become an appealing place of work for new recruits but to retain the valuable workforce they already have. This means understanding current concerns while anticipating and addressing anything that might still be around the corner or further ahead.
In the following industry overview, we discuss each of the 9 factors that science has shown to determine success through people and explore these in the context of the unique challenges currently being faced by employers in domiciliary healthcare.