Sheffield’s social care staff turnover rate 5% higher than national average
England’s social care workforce has shrunk for the first time in 10 years, losing 50,000 staff members last year alone.
The diminishing workforce comes at a more pressing time than ever, as demands for carers increase and hospital bed congestion rises with patients waiting for care home vacancies.
New figures from Skills for Care revealed that by the middle of the next decade, England would need close to 500,000 new care staff to meet the demand.
In Sheffield, the care staff turnover rate in 2021 was estimated at 34.9%, compared to 29.5% for the whole of England.
Megan Ainsworth, 21, a Sheffield-based carer who left the industry, said: “I can understand why there’s a shortage of people in the industry. A lot of people think care is simply assisting with personal care or cooking food, but it is so much more than that.
"You administer medication, have to constantly risk access to different scenarios, and sometimes deal with verbal abuse or physical violence. It takes a massive toll on your mental well-being.”
Skills for Care stated that one-third of the Sheffield care work force are on 0-hour contracts, which could be a factor affecting the high turnover rate.
They also cited that workers who have to travel further for work, workers with less training, and workers on lower pay were all more likely to leave the industry.
Miss Ainsworth added: “I worked in community care and keeping up with rotas was an unbearable task – with not enough time to travel to my calls, I’d constantly be running late and having to rush the people I was looking after.
"I know a lot of carers at the moment cannot afford to drive to shifts, especially with the rising petrol costs, and are opting not to take shifts because it is costing them more in petrol than they are getting paid.”