The 80:20 Report: Reducing the Care Gap

Background to the 80:20 Report.

Figures released by Skills for Care in 2017 showed that at any one time there are 90000 vacancies in social care. As support workers make up 67% of the social care workforce it is estimated there is an approximate shortfall of 60000 support workers This is in line with what I hear every day with particular regard to the recruitment of PA’s (personal assistants, carers, support workers, assistants, supporters)

‘The last 2 years have been a nightmare’ said one man from the North of England, ‘I cannot find decent PA’s.’ In London there is despair, mothers at their wits end as they take once again to filling the gaps, putting up with PA’s they do not feel are up to the job in the knowledge they will not find anyone better, stepping into fill shifts, sleeping during waking hours so they can care through the night. ‘A vampire existence’ said one.

With a further identified £2.5Billion funding gap in social care it has become evident that it is time for drastic measures.

Key recommendation

All managers in social care including social workers, local government officers, national policy makers, charity managers, chief executives, board members, fundraisers, grant givers, department heads, national government officers and ministers for social care should stop doing the least productive 20% of their current job. This could include paperwork, meetings, panels, board meetings, procurement meetings, commissioning, report writing, report reading, filing reports or indeed burying reports. It is expected that this could cause some initial difficulty as much of the identified 20% will be shoring up status, unnecessary systems and outdated conventions. We believe, however, this is an achievable target with an additional buffer of non productive output. This simple action would free up the equivalent of 1 day a week when managers would be re-deployed as support workers.

Key Concerns

We have identified a possible skills gap between the proposed and existing workforce. We believe this can be overcome with a small but intensive training period while managers shadow existing support workers. Managers will reacquaint themselves with core values of patience, trust, fun, tolerance and empathy. Many of the proposed workforce will have entered the social care arena to help others live better lives. We see this at the heart of a good PA skill set.

We have identified further areas of concern including but not limited to sole working, self motivation, long hours and low pay. To ease the transition we propose salaries should remain the same in the probationary period. It is expected, however, that with the increased fulfilment from the new role and improved job satisfaction a reduced salary level will be acceptable. The anticipated savings could be deployed to narrow the pay gap between the new and existing workforce.

Key benefits

Workforce gap significantly reduced: The current vacancy level would drop by more than 50%. Conservative estimate of 247000 managers in social care, ( 20% of their time equivalent to 49950 support workers)

Increased Satisfaction: Managers address a problem directly rather than devolve or outsource to other agencies.

Increased Ownership: Managers involved in the day to day implementation of their plans and policies will be rewarded with an immediate feedback loop.

Increased Motivation: Managers feel a greater sense of connection to the people within their care

Greater accountability: Managers feel more accountable for mistakes as they will see the direct consequences on the people they care for.

Greater Cohesion: Managers more likely to stand alongside families and people they support to challenge funding levels, improve community integration, campaign for better pay and equal opportunities. Families will learn to trust those in management roles.

Efficient and Streamlined Services: Managers will start implementing simpler and more cohesive policies.

This transformative approach to care, whereby all those involved in the care industry would actually care, will have far reaching consequences for the industry as a whole and for the people it is intended to support.

Peer review
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