Plan aims to tackle social care recruitment crisis

Social care cropped

Small community teams and a national campaign to promote social care as a career are among the initiatives planned

19th December 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A new recruitment plan which aims to tackle the social care employment crisis has been launched.

The National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan sets out how the Scottish Government, Cosla and social care partners will work together to develop new ways of recruiting nurses and care workers.

It considers a number of innovative models of care delivery - including care provided by small, self-managing teams in small localised areas.

Actions planned include a national campaign to promote social care as a career choice, development of flexible training and education routes, and the roll-out of workforce planning tools.

A recent report by Scottish Care revealed that nearly a third of nursing posts needed by Scottish social providers are lying empty.

Health secretary Shona Robison said: “This new plan sets out how we can work with our social care partners to recruit in the future, in innovative ways – putting nurses and care workers where they’re needed, and where they can have the greatest impact.

“It looks at models seen elsewhere that put nurses and care workers at the heart of their communities, freeing them up to focus on what they do best. Successfully rolled out in other countries, that empowers nurses and care workers to design care around people and communities.”

The plan has been heavily influenced by a pilot project recently adopted by Cornerstone, which has been developed through the organisation’s work with compatriots in the Netherlands. The Buurtzogg model sees community nursing teams assigned to specific neighbourhoods, with staff working closely with those who require care and other support groups.

Cornerstone chief executive Edel Harris said: “Cornerstone has developed and is implementing a version of the Dutch model which we are calling Local Cornerstone.

“With the support of key partners including the Care Inspectorate and the SSSC we are pleased to be leading the way by adopting this highly acclaimed way of working to improve the lives of the people we support.

“We have an ambitious agenda to transform the way social care is commissioned, funded, delivered and valued in Scotland.

“As the only social care organisation involved in the Scottish Government’s pilot scheme we are pleased to be working with colleagues in the NHS to share our learning and to provide access to the training we have developed and to our team of experienced coaches.”

The plan also aims to address a potential exodus of European care workers who could leave as a result of Brexit. Camphill Scotland recently revealed that 40% of their workers come from the continent, and the charity is deeply concerned about losing many of its workers as a result of Britain leaving the European Union.

Robison added: “We cannot forget the immense risk that Brexit poses to many of our workforces – particularly our NHS and care services which could be hit hard, with many EU citizens playing key roles.

“We will continue to work with Cosla and partners to support recruitment and planning in a more innovative and proactive way, while always standing up for Scotland’s place in Europe and continuing to welcome those who contribute so much.”