The London-based tech company, Florence surveyed 135 care home managers to find out some of the pressures faced by care staff during the pandemic.
35% of care home managers surveyed by Florence said they are 'considering leaving care and looking to career change,' after a year of working through the Covid-19 pandemic.
In what one care manager described as 'The most horrific, traumatising situation I have ever been in,' the toll of a year working on the pandemic’s frontline is starkly revealed by the survey - with 50% reporting they are ‘overwhelmed and overworked’, 18% ‘completely burnt out', and 63% saying they have had inadequate mental health support at work.
Other key findings on how a year of Covid has impacted care managers include:
- 30% report having staff who refuse to be vaccinated.
- Sense of mental wellbeing has dropped from 4.1/5 pre-pandemic to 2.4/5 now.
- 51% are working 10+ hours more per week on Covid tasks, on top of their workload - these include running weekly testing of all staff and residents, managing safe virtual and in-person visitation for residents, and juggling the staff rota through sickness absence and vacancies.
'We have been left to fend for ourselves and are not valued at all,' one respondent from the north west said, on condition of anonymity.
Tech company, Florence said that with Covid vaccination currently not enforceable for care workers under UK law (unlike Italy, where a bill has just passed), the results reveal an uneasy tension between managers’ need to protect their home, and the lack of legal backup to enforce vaccination. 45% of managers with staff who refused vaccination said they provided educational material to help convince them, one of the only further actions available to them.
With over a third of care home managers considering leaving and changing careers, and a further 20% reporting they are looking at other roles in care, the data points to a potential leadership exodus after a year of pandemic-related trauma.
This will add to adult social care’s 122,000 vacancy staffing gap, equivalent to 8% of available roles, which is likely to widen further after the continued failings social care staff have faced during the pandemic.
Dr. Charles Armitage, Florence founder, said, 'We must value and protect our social care workers at all costs, but a year on from ‘clapping for our carers’, they feel forgotten. Sadly this is also being borne out in the government’s response - there is still an 11bn funding gap to close. There is now an even greater danger of an exodus of trusted, experienced and dedicated leaders from care. We urge the government to widen provisions for mental health and financial support for all social care staff.'
The survey was conducted on 113 UK care home managers in March 2021. For more information, visit the Florence website.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a five-week consultation looking at requiring care home providers, caring for older adults, to deploy only those workers who have received their COVID-19 vaccination.