Social care staff shortage put down to low pay and Brexit
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
A shortage of social care workers in Flintshire has left the local authority struggling to cope with the demand for services, it’s been warned.
Staff leaving for higher paid jobs in other industries and the end of freedom of movement after Brexit are said to be the main causes of the recruitment problems.
Earlier this week, Flintshire Council officials called an “urgent meeting” of key organisations to discuss the issue.
The authority’s chief executive said the pressure being faced had led to some care packages being reviewed.
Addressing a remote meeting of councillors held today, Colin Everett said: “We’re beginning to see lots of cracks now in workforce availability for social care.
“Some of it is difficulty to recruit, some of it is agencies not having the same books that they once had and some of it unfortunately is lower paid workers in that sector leaving for other sectors that are offering inducements.
“We know there’s been often a flit between lower paid work in social care and retail.
“Hospitality is struggling for workforce and that is a post-Brexit issue as well, so people have been attracted from other sectors to make good those gaps.”
He added: “Workforce generally is becoming quite a crisis area for a number of sectors.
“At this stage it doesn’t put us in a crisis point but if social care colleagues were here, they would be saying they’re struggling to keep up with demands in domiciliary care.”
Cllr Richard Jones, chair of the council’s recovery committee, said he had witnessed the shortage of staff in the care industry first hand.
He said agency workers in particular were being attracted elsewhere.
Mr Everett added recruitment problems could also have a knock-on effect on other parts of the health system.
He said: “Inevitably, if we have delays in those areas, it not just a point of having to prioritise needs as it can have a backwash into health and delayed discharges.
“That’s an emerging theme of the last couple of weeks that were treated with great seriousness at a regional level.”
He said a report on the situation would be brought to councillors at a later date.