Social care sector ‘on its knees’ amid recruitment crisis

Concerns have been raised over the difficulties in attracting people into jobs.

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The social care sector in Scotland is “on its knees”, it has been claimed, amid a warning that a lack of new recruits could force services to grind to a halt.

Lynn Bell, CEO of LOVE Group, a care provider based in Hamilton, highlighted the recruitment crisis in the sector in an interview with STV News.

And she explained that her organisation has had to consider prioritising certain care packages as a contingency measure in place of not delivering care.

“I think the social care sector is actually on its knees in terms of recruitment,” Bell said.

“What we are trying to do is attract people into a sector that’s broken.

“We could quite literally hire 500 people tomorrow and we can’t attract people into the jobs.

“So, it’s been quite disastrous and without exaggeration, the care sector itself is going to grind to a halt and people’s care might stop.”

She added: “Care is going to stop. People are going to stop receiving their care at home, it is an absolute fact.

“And as a care company, we have already started to look at prioritising certain care packages as a contingency to not delivering care.”

Bell indicated that the sector is experiencing challenges with recruitment across the board.

“It will quite literally stop and that doesn’t just apply to our organisation, that applies to every organisation,” she said.

“We go into provider meetings with local authorities, local authorities are providing care to families and everybody has the same message.

“Everybody is struggling, nobody can recruit and we just can’t get the bodies through the door.

“So, it will quite literally stop and we’re not far away.”

Donald Macaskill, chief executive of Scottish Care, urged national and local government to invest in care.

He said: “We rewards people who make things and who work with machines better than we reward people who deliver care and work with people.

“We need to change that. We need national and local government to invest in care and that ultimately means making decisions around prioritising the care workforce.”