The pressure that the health and social care sector is under at present is highly publicised, and media outlets will often report that employees within are struggling to not only manage workloads but to provide the services, and care, that they would hope to.
In the largest of its kind since 1986, a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Employment Survey* from 2019 found that most nursing staff were under overwhelming pressure with 61 percent of nursing staff saying they were too busy to provide the level of care to patients that they would like. It is important to note that this research was conducted pre-pandemic. Our healthcare sectors face even greater pressure today.
The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee conducted an investigation into Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and Social Care1, across 2021-2022. This focussed on the many factors affecting colleagues in the sector, with intensity of workload – and time – being a major contributing factor to ‘burn out’, staff resignation and challenges with regard to recruitment.
Having ‘time’ to care is crucial. In fact, findings from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) report2 from 2016 stated that:
“Home care visits should be long enough to ensure that the person’s identified outcomes can be achieved in a way that does not compromise their dignity and wellbeing. There is a risk that visits of less than 30 minutes will be rushed and not meet the person’s needs, and could compromise safety and dignity.”
Currently, over 75 percent of UK home care visits are less than 30 minutes long. In contrast, at Home Instead Exeter & East Devon, ‘time’ has always been important. We see the benefits of our minimum one-hour visits in the outcomes for our Clients, and also in the positive feedback received from colleagues with regard to their ability to provide the kind of care that they would hope to.
Care provided in line with a tick list of tasks is inevitable in order to ensure that the needs of a client are met, and these are fully detailed in our extensive care plans. What Home Instead do differently is to allow time to do those vital tasks with, rather than for a client. This maintains those skills and also a sense of independence and dignity, which is vital when considering the core needs of any individual.
In relation to our Care Professional colleagues, we know that ‘time’ is key to their own feelings of satisfaction and confidence in their role. These sentiments are expressed year on year via our annual PEAQ (Pursuing Excellence by Achieving Quality) Survey, which sees our team provide confidential feedback regarding their experiences as Care Professionals and colleagues. In fact, when asked if Home Instead enable individuals to do their job to a high standard, an amazing 99% of our colleagues agreed that we did, with the allowance of ‘time to care’ being a major benefit.
Most recently, a BBC News3 article focussed on the challenge of care sector recruitment and highlighted the rewards of care roles from current employees such as Marc Rayner, who concluded “Knowing that you are making a difference to someone’s day is all the reward that you need. It just depends on where you go and who you work for…”.
We are keen to champion the many rewards of our sector, and ourselves as an official 5 Star Employer in Care, be those with regard to great pay and benefits, adaptable contracts to fit around family life and other careers, and also the rewards of making an immeasurable difference to the lives of older and vulnerable members of our own communities.
If you would like to find your own ‘time to care’, if you’re new to the sector or if you’re an experienced Care Professional looking for a different approach to the role that you love, please get in touch. Our officially outstanding team is growing, and we would welcome your enquiry.
Further reading AGE UK Behind the Headlines: The Battle to Get Care at Home