Acacia Homecare have been doing all they can in order to pay our Acacia Angels more. What’s an Acacia Angel you ask? That’s what we call our care workers here. Why? Well, although we pay them more than the average care provider, we, like all care providers struggle to pay them what they should get, if you compare them to other professions who have the similar level of responsibility.
Acacia Homecare Angels do more than you can imagine. Providing personal care, managing medications, providing emotional support or administering first aid, all under the cloud of, if they make a mistake, them and the person they are caring for could suffer. Why would anyone do this when they could clean an office building, or serve fried chicken in a fast food restaurant? In fact, many don’t. We, as care providers are facing one of the toughest periods of staff shortages we have ever had.
“Pay them more!” we hear constantly. So we do. Acacia Homecare have given 2 pay raises a year for the last 10 years. Even the government has claimed they have helped by introducing the National Living Wage. So why are we facing the toughest times for care workers leaving the sector? The reality of it, the implementation National Living Wage has only made things worse in the social care sector. No I am not saying that the lowest paid in the country should not earn more, quite the contrary, they should.
Where does that leave us? It leaves care providers competing for staff with the local fried chicken shop, or the £1 shop in the High Street, or even all of the well known supermarkets. A fight we cannot win, because they can pay similar wages, for what is, with all due respect, a less stressful, less responsible and more sociable job. We also continue to struggle as care providers as we cannot compete with the recruitment budgets that the supermarkets command.
So what do we do? We continue to love and cherish our Acacia Angels who do this work day in and day out, we continue to be creative finding new ways to reach out to potential Acacia Angels, and we continue to pay as much as we can. The pay, however, is directly linked to what we can charge for care. Like most sectors, Domiciliary Care, have faced significant pressures to increase our prices, when at the same time, it is acknowledged that the price of care is already too high for most in the UK to afford, that includes local authorities, the NHS and private buyers.
As I asked at the beginning of this blog, “How do we pay our care workers more?”. We do this by the government significantly reducing the income tax burden for those who work as care workers. That way we can keep the cost of care down and at the same time, reduce the strain on the NHS and care workers will earn more for contributing so highly to society. Dare I say a win win win for social care?
If only Boris would help make working in social care more attractive! Where is the famous footballer when you need one?