No “care” for care home staff

According to Lisa Hitchin of Nursing Times

Over 40% of care home staff leave their job within a year of taking up post and 60% within two years, according to a National Care Forum survey of over 37,000 people.

The NCF said such high turnover threatened implementation of recent Government reforms for the sector. It has surveyed its members for the last five years. The 2008 figures on staff leaving have increased to 42.3% from 34.5% in 2007, and to 61.5% from 53.9% that left in two years.

However there was wide variation in vacancy rates from the 15 organisations that reported them – overall an average of 8.7% – down from 9.1% in 2007. Average sickness absence (based on 20 organisations) had also fallen to 4.7% – down from 5.2% the year before.

A total of 35 organisations took part in the survey – a 64% response rate. Over 40% of the respondents are care workers with 2.6% (829) registered nurses.

‘The most disturbing result is the loss of so many care workers in the first year or two of work,’ noted Des Kelly, executive director of the NCF.

‘We don’t yet know enough about why they leave or where they go,’ he said. ‘As we enter a period of unprecedented change to deliver the policy of more personalised care and support services, a stable and well-trained workforce is crucial to success. Paying attention to staff retention, satisfaction and motivation is therefore absolutely essential.’

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance Program, Stress Management, Staff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit


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