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Crisis in Care Sector: Campaign Launched to Encourage More to Apply

The Scottish Government has announced a marketing campaign to try and encourage more people to take up jobs in the care sector.

Both our NHS and Care Services strained under the impact of Covid. Not only with the numbers of people requiring hospital treatment due to the virus but the workforce themselves being infected and having to stay at home. In 2020 before there was a vaccination programme many staff lost their lives to the virus having been provided with inadequate Personal Protection Equipment – a scandal which lies squarely with the Tories awarding contracts to irresponsible suppliers – often their mates.

It was hoped that the summer of 2022 would provide respite from Covid and allow our hospital and social care sectors to recover but unfortunately the lifting of all restrictions led to a wave of infections and hospitalisations.

Public Health Scotland also states the following about the wider impacts of Covid on our health and wellbeing:

  • Individuals being reluctant to use health services because they do not want to burden the NHS or are anxious about the risk of infection.
  • The health service delaying preventative and non-urgent care such as some screening services and planned surgery.
  • Other indirect effects of interventions to control COVID-19, such as changes to employment and income, changes in access to education, social isolation, family violence and abuse, changes in the accessibility and use of food, alcohol, drugs and gambling, or changes in physical activity and transport patterns.
Public Health Scotland

Click on this link for more information about the wider impacts on the Health Care System

All of this has an effect on the number of deaths. Yesterday, 26th of January, Scotland recorded an excess of 277 deaths , taken over a 5 year period. Deaths Involving #Covid: Weekly Update 26th Jan 2023

This graph illustrates the excess deaths due to all causes for Orkney 2020 – 2022 and compares it to the 2015 -2019 average.

Orkney weekly number of deaths 2020 to 2022 compared with the 2015-2019 average

And this graph illustrates the excess deaths due to all causes for Scotland 2020 – 2022 and compares it to the 2015 -2019 average.

Scotland weekly number of deaths 2020 to 2022 compared with the 2015-2019 average

Orkney at first had very few deaths involving Covid. In 2020 there was high compliance with the lockdown restrictions and the majority of people wore face masks.

The following is the number of registered deaths in Orkney where Covid is mentioned on the death certificate for 2020, 2021 & 2022:

YearDeaths involving Covid

The strain on both the structure of our health and care system – and on the people who deliver that service has been enormous.

Many have left the service and vacancies have not been filled.

The latest data from Public Health Scotland (16th January 2023) shows that the number of people waiting for a Social Care Assessment in Orkney is 40.

And the number of people in Orkney who have been assessed for a care at home package and are still waiting for that service to be provided is 49 – 5 of those people are in Hospital while they wait. 248 hours of Care for those assessed as requiring it in Orkney has not been provided.

For those people in Orkney who are receiving Care at Home there is a shortfall of 64 hours between what has been assessed as needed and what is being provided.

The Scottish Government’s ‘There is more to care than caring’ , campaign at a cost of £500,000, aims to attract more people to work in adult social care, retain existing staff and raise its status as a profession. 

The future of Care in Scotland is also under consideration with the Scottish Government’s pledge to establish a National Care Service due to the patchwork provision of the service over the country with a mixture of private, local authority and Third Sector providers.

From this April all adult social care staff in Scotland will be paid a minimum of at least £10.90 an hour.

Social Care Minister in the Scottish Government Kevin Stewart said:

“Working in adult social care can be challenging but offers the opportunity to have a hugely positive impact on people’s lives on a daily basis.

“We are increasing pay, improving terms and conditions in the sector, and developing clear career pathways for the workforce, ahead of the introduction of the National Care Service. This will lead to more rewarding roles for the existing adult social care workforce, and for new entrants to the profession.

“This campaign highlights that while relevant experience can help, it is core interpersonal skills such as communication, compassion, empathy and respect that are most highly valued. If these are skills you possess then adult social care could be the career for you.”

Click on this link to access the job vacancies in Orkney in Social Care

person holding a stress ball
Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

Fiona Grahame

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