928 carers in England quit a day as social care system 'starts to collapse'

Figures analysed by the BBC come as homecare providers write letter to prime minister warning of crisis facing sector

More than 900 adult social care workers a day quit their job in England last year, figures reveal, as homecare providers warn the adult social care system has begun to collapse.

Analysis by the BBC of data released by a charity, Skills for Care, shows that in 2015-16 about 338,520 adult social care workers left their roles, equal to 928 people leaving their job every day. There were more than 1.3 million people employed in the adult social care sector in England in the period.

Of those leaving a job, 60% left the adult social care sector altogether, the figures showed, while there was an estimated shortage of 84,320 care workers, meaning about one in every 20 care roles remained vacant.

The average full-time frontline care worker earned £7.69 an hour, or £14,800 a year, according to the data, and one in every four social care workers was employed on a zero-hours contract.

The figures come as the UK Homecare Association wrote a letter to the prime minister warning of the crisis facing social care.

Mike Padgham, the chair of the UK Homecare Association, said: “My biggest fear is that we will soon run out of capacity to provide care to those who cannot fund themselves. I agree wholeheartedly with Age UK’s warning that the social care system will begin to collapse this year, but I would go further and say that the system has already begun to collapse.”

The Skills for Care figures show that the industry has a staff turnover rate of 27%, which is nearly twice the average for other professions in the UK, according to the BBC report.

The government has said it will spend an extra £2bn on the social care system and permitted local authorities to raise council tax bills in order to fund the gap in social care budgets.

The Department of Health said: “Social care jobs have increased at an average of 3% a year since 2010, but we want to see improvements in turnover rates, with talented staff attracted to a robust sector backed by an additional £2bn over the next three years.

“Meanwhile, we’re investing in the workforce of the future, with a total of 87,800 apprentices starting last year – up 37,300 compared to 2010.”


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