Recruitment and retention proving problematic for care providers

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Almost a quarter of staff leave within the first three months of joining an organisation, care providers have said.

Findings have been revealed by Scottish Care, which issued a workforce recruitment and retention survey between July and August to better understand the challenges facing the sector.

A total of 251 providers and organisations from the private, third and voluntary sectors responded.

Almost 90% stated recruitment and retention was problematic for them, with providers advertising for openings on a rolling basis. More than a third recruit weekly, while an additional third stated they were looking for staff daily.

Three quarters of homecare and housing support services recruit on a daily and weekly basis.

Scottish Care said the results were ‘alarming and must be addressed imminently’.

Other findings showed a high non-attendance rate of those invited to interview, with almost 40% not showing up. Almost half of organisations surveyed said staff were working more than 35 hours per week.

There are also high sickness and absence levels in the sector. Reasons cited include anxiety, depression, stress and exhaustion.

Last week, Scottish Care chief executive Donald Macaskill told a seminar frontline social care staff were leaving the sector after being left ‘depleted’ and ‘distraught’ following events of the past 18 months.

A full summary of the survey findings will be published next week.