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Health & Social Care Sector

The Social Care Sector is in the middle of one of the biggest challenges it ever faces. Regulation has never been as stringent, funding has never been lower, and the global pandemic has shone an uncompromising light on the sector, its staff and the people of all ages who use its services.

Now more than ever does the Health & Social Care sector need to ensure they have the right HR advice and support to manage their employees effectively and efficiently and our experience in providing HR services across this sector enables us to let you get on with providing exceptional services to your clients, whilst we support you to look after your employees.

Rising demand for beds and the fact that many providers cannot continue to run at current scale, with 80% of operators running single home businesses, M&A activity is growing in this sector.

In 2019, The Kings Fund identified eight key problems facing social care. These are:

  • Means testing: social care is not free at point of use like the NHS
  • Catastrophic costs: some people end up paying large amounts and even selling their homes to pay for care
  • Unmet need: Many people go without the care and support they need
  • Quality of care: a wide spectrum of concerns, from 15-minute care visits to neglect and lack of control and choice
  • Workforce pay and conditions: staff are underpaid, leading to high vacancy rates and turnover
  • Market fragility: care providers go out of business or hand back contracts
  • Disjointed care: health and care are not integrated around the individual and causes issues such as delayed transfers of care from hospital
  • The ‘postcode lottery’: there is unwarranted variation between places in access to care and its quality

Covid-19 has had a huge, tragic impact on the quality of care and affected it in other, less obvious ways.

It is on quality of care that Covid-19 has had the most devastating consequences. Keeping people safe is a primary duty of care and the responsibility of everyone working in social care. Though providers are on the front line, the work and behaviour of regulators, commissioners, policymakers, and partner organisations, particularly in health, has a big impact on what they can do. Quality is therefore a joint responsibility.

By mid-June there had been nearly 30,000 excess deaths in care homes in England and Wales. There have also been more than 3,500 excess deaths among people receiving domiciliary care, although fewer of these are attributed directly to Covid-19. As in the wider population, in care settings people from minority ethnic groups were more likely to die with Covid-19 than white people. The emotional toll on staff in care homes, some of whom lost several residents in a matter of days, is immense.

But the death toll is not the only issue affecting quality of care. Reduced staff availability (sickness absence tripled to 8 per cent in the early stages of the pandemic), lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other factors affected quality and availability across social care, at least in the initial stages of the pandemic (and also had a big impact on service users’ access to the health services).

It is now harder than ever to manage a workforce in this sector.   

So How Can Optimal Support Your Organisation?

Optimal PBS work with several clients across the UK that operate within the Social Care sector providing expert HR advice and support. We fully understand the CQC requirements relating to employees who work within care settings including the Safer Recruitment Process. We also support our clients on CQC audits whenever required. The range of support we can provide includes:

We can provide you with support at every level from basic administration right through to strategic support.

We have a dedicated Recruitment Team for Social Care led by someone who has worked as a Senior Manager in social care for over 25 years. We are fully compliant with the Safer Recruitment Process.

We have a full e-learning platform which enables us to deliver all your training requirements remotely and flexibly for new and existing staff. Everything from Medication Awareness & Safeguarding to Management Development (and everything in between!)

We provide payroll services and have full rota/workforce planning systems to create efficiencies and interacts with the payroll system, reducing time spent organising rotas and shifts and calculating hours for payrolls.

What our clients say

Meet our HR experts

Our team have significant experience of supporting our clients with all of their requirements

Melanie Stead

Managing Director

Helen Murphy

Operations Director

Vici McLean

HR Client Account Manager

Verity Jocelyn

Senior HR Advisor

Joanna Baker

HR Consultant

Sharna McWilliam

HR Administrator

Saniya Mahmood

HR Administrator