Vulnerable people suffering as care workers are pushed to the limit – Unison

The crisis in England’s care system is escalating – with overworked staff not even having the time to take elderly people to the toilet or give them a wash, according to a new report.

Unison said there was an urgent need for “real investment” to tackle issues such as staff shortages.

A survey of 2,700 care staff by the union found that one in five said they did not have time to carry out tasks such as preparing food or help to bathe the elderly people they were supporting.

Two out of five said they had left vulnerable and elderly people when they were upset or in distress, or did not have time to chat, because they had to move on to another appointment.

Half of those polled said they were thinking of leaving their job because of low pay or not having enough time to deliver proper care, showing how they were being “pushed to the limit”, said Unison.

Assistant general secretary Christina McAnea (pictured) said: “Care workers and those they look after are suffering because the Government isn’t listening to those on the front line.

“Care staff try to do their best, but the system is increasingly stopping them from providing dignified support. Elderly and disabled people are ending up lonely and without their care needs met.

“Vulnerable people will continue to be failed by a flawed system unless the Government provides decent funding, better training and fair pay for care workers.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The social care workforce is vital and we know they work tirelessly to support the most vulnerable people in our society.

“We provide a range of resources to train staff and the average hourly pay rates are higher than the national minimum wage – the average salary has risen by 9% since 2015.

“We have provided local authorities access to up to £9.6 billion in dedicated adult social care funding over three years.

“Our green paper due later in the year will set out our plans to reform the social care system to make it sustainable for the future.”

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