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The number of students starting undergraduate nursing courses has dipped by 2.6% this year which has lead to warnings that the future supply of nurses ‘remains in peril’.

The Government promised in October to create an extra 5,000 nursing places, part of a wider drive to cope with soaring patient numbers, however, an end to bursaries in favour of student loans have been blamed for deterring people from the profession.

Combined with the drop in overseas applicants – which has partially been blamed on uncertainty over Brexit – the true risks to our NHS services are yet to be seen.

The latest data shows there was a 13 per cent decline in acceptances to nursing subjects from applicants aged 21 to 25 and a six per cent decline from those aged 26 or above, but that these decreases were offset by in increased acceptances of young applicants.

It suggests that, per applicant, it was easier to get onto a nursing degree this year than in the past.

The Royal College of Nursing said the figures showed the Government is not filling the promised extra places.

Speaking in the Telegraph, Lara Carmona, Associate Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the RCN, said: “These figures show the future supply of nurses remains in peril – we have not seen the increase we need across the UK, despite government promises.

“In practice, this will mean services already struggling to recruit staff will find it even harder.”

If you are interested in a career in nursing – please get in touch with us.

 

 

Looking for a career with legs? Here’s why healthcare is a great choice.  If you’re passionate about helping people, finding a job in the healthcare industry can be one of the most rewarding career choices there is.  Don’t believe us? Here are ten reasons that prove healthcare could be a step in the right direction for your career:

You’ll be in demand!

Healthcare is the fastest growing job sector in the workforce. With potentially fewer candidates from the EU and more existing staff retiring, it will be crucial for the NHS and social care sectors to attract more younger people.

  • The Royal College of Nursing says England is currently short of at least 20,000 nursing staff.
  • The Royal College of Midwives says the country needs 3,500 more midwives.

 

Healthcare pays

To attract the best candidates and professionals, healthcare providers and some care agencies offer high pay packages to recruit and retain the best care staff.

Choices, choices, choices

There are lots of different opportunities in healthcare – something for everyone. You can work in med tech, labs, or directly with patients in hospitals,care homes, clinics, nursing homes or private care agencies.

Get a free education

You can get free training or even all your education paid for. Due to the staffing shortages in the industry, you can find employers and government scholarships to cover your educational costs.

You’ll feel needed

Working in healthcare make a difference in people’s lives. Caring for people and helping others lead healthy lives is satisfying and important.

Meet different people

Healthcare workers interact with different people everyday, including patients, doctors, medical staff. In some fields, you’ll interact with researchers, technology experts, or scientists.

Health care is exciting

You never know what’s going to happen, and have to stay one your toes, solve problems and make good decisions. Every day is different.

You can move up

There are lots of opportunities for advancement in healthcare. You can get promoted or move up to related healthcare fields that pay more.  A Band 9 Nurse pay package can easily reach the :  £78,629 – £99,437 mark.

Variety

You can change specialities. If you’re interested in paediatrics, complex care , mental health , dementia, you can move into those areas when the opportunities arise.

It’s a fast-paced environment

Filled with challenges, and offering the chance to work with people from all walks of life, there’ll never be a dull day in this industry.

By solving each individual problem in whatever way your job allows, you’ll experience a sense of variety and know that you’re working towards a good cause. Teamwork is a big part of the job too, and you’ll get great job satisfaction knowing you’re working towards a meaningful joint goal with your colleagues. If you’re sick of being bored at work or feeling like your job has no real purpose, finding your perfect position in the healthcare industry could be the perfect antidote.

You have many options for a career in healthcare, the fastest growing field today. Get free information from great schools today!

View all available healthcare jobs now.

Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to do what you need to feel better. But while overcoming depression isn’t quick or easy, it’s far from impossible. You can’t just will yourself to “snap out of it,” but you do have more control than you realise – even if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. 

Whether you suffer from depression , high level of anxiety or you just don’t quite feel your usual perky self, don’t suffer in silence – there are lots of ways you can increase your positivity and well-being. Depression doesn’t just affect your patients; although we know that can be easy to forget when you’re busy taking care of them (which is pretty much always). The truth is, medical staff, carers and  nurses are just as prone to depression and changes in mood and feelings as anybody else, even if (or perhaps especially because) the majority of that time is spent in the hospital or healthcare establishments.

The anxieties that these jobs can bring on are brought on by many things including:

  • Feeling inadequate or incompetent as a new member of staff.
  • Being reprimanded by a supervisor or manager about something you did or didn’t do.
  • multiple and fast changes in shifts make it difficult to support.
  • Not being able to complete all of your tasks in time.
  • Dealing with a declining patient when you have multiple others to take care of.
  • Dealing with difficult families that are never pleased.
  • Taking care of demanding patients.
  • Bullying within this profession.
  • Being afraid to ask questions.
  • Dealing with difficult doctors.
  • Receiving report on a hard patient.
  • Going to bed and dreading going to work the next day because of a negative environment

Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day.

Rule 1: Reach out and stay connected

When you’re depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate. Even reaching out to close family members and friends can be tough. Compound that with the feelings of shame and the guilt you may feel at neglecting your relationships.

But social support is absolutely essential to depression recovery. Staying connected to other people and the outside world will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. And if you don’t feel that you have anyone to turn to, it’s never too late to build new friendships and improve your support network.

Six tips for reaching out and staying connected:

Talk to one person about your feelings

Help someone else by volunteering

Have lunch or coffee with a friend

Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly

Go for a walk with a workout buddy

Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club

Rule 2: Do things that make you feel good

In order to overcome depression, you have to do things that relax and energise you. This includes following a healthy lifestyle, learning how to better manage stress, setting limits on what you’re able to do, and scheduling fun activities into your day. While you can’t force yourself to have fun or experience pleasure, you can push yourself to do things, even when you don’t feel like it. You might be surprised at how much better you feel once you’re out in the world. Even if your depression doesn’t lift immediately, you’ll gradually feel more upbeat and energetic as you make time for fun activities.

Aim for eight hours of sleep. Depression typically involves sleep problems; whether you’re sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits. Expose yourself to a little sunlight every day. Lack of sunlight can make depression worse. Take a short walk outdoors, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, people-watch on a park bench, or sit out in the garden. Aim for at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day to boost your mood. If you live somewhere with little winter sunshine, try using a light therapy box. Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.

Come up with a list of things that you can do for a quick mood boost. The more “tools” for coping with depression, the better. Try and implement a few of these ideas each day, even if you’re feeling good:

  • Spend some time in nature
  • List what you like about yourself
  • Read a good book
  • Watch a funny movie or TV show
  • Take a long, hot bath
  • Take care of a few small tasks
  • Play with a pet
  • Talk to friends or family face-to-face
  • Listen to music
  • Do something spontaneous

Rule 3 : Move vigorously during the day

When you’re depressed, just getting out of bed can seem like a daunting task, let alone working out! But exercise is a powerful depression fighter – and one of the most important tools in your recovery arsenal. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms. It also helps prevent relapse once you’re well. To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This doesn’t have to be all at once—and it’s okay to start small. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.

 

Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when you’re depressed and exhausted. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. You will be less fatigued, not more, once it’s part of your routine. Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercise- such as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancing—where you move both your arms and legs.

Rule 4 : Eat a healthy, mood-boosting diet

What you eat has a direct impact on the way you feel. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your brain and mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods with high levels of chemical preservatives or hormones (such as certain meats).

Don’t skip meals. Going too long between meals can make you feel irritable and tired, so aim to eat something at least every three to four hours.

Minimise sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these “feel-good” foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy. Aim to cut out as much of these foods as possible.

Boost your B vitamins. Deficiencies in B vitamins such as folic acid and B-12 can trigger depression. To get more, take a B-complex vitamin supplement or eat more citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs.

Rule 5 : Always challenge negative thinking

Do you feel like you’re powerless or weak? That bad things happen and there’s not much you can do about it? That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future.

When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, it’s important to remind yourself that this is the depression talking. These irrational, pessimistic attitudes—known as cognitive distortions—aren’t realistic. When you really examine them they don’t hold up. But even so, they can be tough to give up. Just telling yourself to “think positive” won’t cut it. Often, they’re part of a lifelong pattern of thinking that’s become so automatic you’re not even completely aware of it. Once you identify the destructive thoughts patterns that you default to, you can start to challenge them with questions such as:

“What’s the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?”

“What would I tell a friend who had this thought?”

“Is there another way of looking at the situation or an alternate explanation?”

“How might I look at this situation if I didn’t have depression?”

As you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised at how quickly they crumble. In the process, you’ll develop a more balanced perspective.

Rule 6: know when it’s time to get professional help

If you’ve taken self-help steps and made positive lifestyle changes and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing additional help doesn’t mean you’re weak. Sometimes the negative thinking in depression can make you feel like you’re a lost cause, but depression can be treated and you can feel better!

Don’t forget about these self-help tips, though. Even if you’re receiving professional help, these tips can be part of your treatment plan, speeding your recovery and preventing depression from returning.

Rule 7: know when it’s time to move on 

Working in a bad environment , dealing with a bad employer, living with a stressing job could be the main reason why you have depression in the first place, so getting ready to move on , a change of career , profession , or working with a more flexible and friendly employer are just the key to your happiness and improving your depression condition , leaving a job after years of work is challenging but the rewards could be huge if this leads to a better and balanced life.

The brains of SuperAgers (those 80 years old and older whose memories are as sharp as healthy people in their 50s and 60s) shrink much slower than their age-matched peers, resulting in a greater resistance to ‘typical’ memory loss and dementia, a new path-breaking study that shows.

This is a MRI scan of a SuperAger’s brain. The portion between the yellow and red lines is the cortex, which contains neurons. SuperAgers’ cortices shrunk over two times slower than average-age peers’ in a recent Northwestern Medicine study, which may contribute to their superior memory performance.

Credit: Northwestern University

The highly engaged and delightful conversationalist, who reads, volunteers and routinely researches questions on the Internet, is part of a new path-breaking Northwestern Medicine study that shows that SuperAgers’ brains shrink much slower than their age-matched peers, resulting in a greater resistance to “typical” memory loss and dementia.

Over the course of the 18-month study, normal agers lost volume in the cortex twice as fast as SuperAgers, a rare group of people aged 80 and above whose memories are as sharp as those of healthy persons decades younger.

“Increasing age is often accompanied by ‘typical’ cognitive decline or, in some cases, more severe cognitive decline called dementia,” said first author Amanda Cook, a clinical neuropsychology doctoral student in the laboratory of Emily Rogalski and Sandra Weintraub. “SuperAgers suggest that age-related cognitive decline is not inevitable.”The study was published in JAMA. Senior author Emily Rogalski will present the findings at the 2017 Cognitive Aging Summit in Bethesda, Maryland, April 6.SuperAger research at Northwestern is flipping the traditional approach to Alzheimer’s research of focusing on brains that are underperforming to instead focusing on outperforming brains.

Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. We specialise in providing nursing jobs in the healthcare industry. We successfully place permanent candidates in their dream jobs and we have a great reputation of placing temporary nurses on an adhoc agency basis. Specialising in Nursing and Care home, mental health, learning disabilities, community nursing, NHS, Private Hospitals and prisons to name a few.

Started in the West Midlands … and growing fast

With offices in Wolverhampton, Birmingham, London, our Nursing Teams have relationships with a huge number of healthcare providers. Whether you’re looking for nurse jobs just round the corner from where you live or further afield, we’ll find the right role for you.

Our relationship with private healthcare providers, NHS mean that we can offer a wider variety of settings to our candidates. Not only general Nurse jobs but also specialist roles such as  ITU nursing, Theatre, ODP/ODA, RSCN and pediatric on a temporary and permanent basis.

Competitive pay rates and weekly payments

Rewarding the best; in a rewarding career – We care about and support all our employees. To attract the best candidates, our pay rates are amongst the highest in the industry.

Personalised support

Our Clinical Lead Nurse is here to provide expert advice – from identifying additional training to supporting you to write a reflective statement. We’ll also help you create a Continuing Professional Development Plan.

Training

To enable you to start working as quickly as possible we offer a choice of online modules, in house training or practical training with one of our accredited partners. We’ve recently added a one day Managing and Preventing Aggression (MAPA) course to our in-house options.

We cover nationwide over the whole of the UK and supply to NHS hospitals, private healthcare groups, theatre departments, mental health units and prisons. We have nurse jobs for days, nights or weekend workers, and can accommodate part timers who are only looking for one or two shifts per month or the candidates wanting more.

Looking for a Nursing Job in West Midlands ? … Look no further !

Secure Healthcare can ensure General and Specialist Nurses are placed in a setting that meets their skills, wants and desires on a temporary or permanent basis.

  • Registered General Nurses
  • Registered Mental Health Nurses
  • Registered Learning Disability Nurses
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner
  • Practice Nurse
  • Pediatric Nurse
  • Complex Care Nurse
  • Theatre Nurse
  • A&E Nurse
  • Dialysis Nurse
  • Palliative Care Nurses
  • School Nurses
  • Prison Nurses
  • Respiratory Nurses
  • Community Nurses
  • Full-time agency work

     

    Full-time agency workers are welcome, with block bookings and contracts available.

    Benefits of working with Secure Healthcare
    High pay rates
    Flexible shifts
    Regular shifts
    Block bookings
    Online timesheets
    Dedicated Consultant
    Refer a friend scheme
    Free Uniform
    Free Training
    Meet and Greet (First Shift)
    Internal Taxi Service for shifts
    Onsite Financial Advice

Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. We specialise in providing nursing jobs in the healthcare industry. We successfully place permanent candidates in their dream jobs and we have a great reputation of placing temporary nurses on an adhoc agency basis. Specialising in Nursing and Care home, mental health, learning disabilities, community nursing, NHS, Private Hospitals and prisons to name a few.

Started in the West Midlands … and growing fast

With offices in Wolverhampton, Birmingham, London, our Nursing Teams have relationships with a huge number of healthcare providers. Whether you’re looking for nurse jobs just round the corner from where you live or further afield, we’ll find the right role for you.

Our relationship with private healthcare providers, NHS mean that we can offer a wider variety of settings to our candidates. Not only general Nurse jobs but also specialist roles such as  ITU nursing, Theatre, ODP/ODA, RSCN and pediatric on a temporary and permanent basis.

Competitive pay rates and weekly payments

Rewarding the best; in a rewarding career – We care about and support all our employees. To attract the best candidates, our pay rates are amongst the highest in the industry.

Personalised support

Our Clinical Lead Nurse is here to provide expert advice – from identifying additional training to supporting you to write a reflective statement. We’ll also help you create a Continuing Professional Development Plan.

Training

To enable you to start working as quickly as possible we offer a choice of online modules, in house training or practical training with one of our accredited partners. We’ve recently added a one day Managing and Preventing Aggression (MAPA) course to our in-house options.

We cover nationwide over the whole of the UK and supply to NHS hospitals, private healthcare groups, theatre departments, mental health units and prisons. We have nurse jobs for days, nights or weekend workers, and can accommodate part timers who are only looking for one or two shifts per month or the candidates wanting more.

Looking for a Nursing Job in West Midlands ? … Look no further !

Secure Healthcare can ensure General and Specialist Nurses are placed in a setting that meets their skills, wants and desires on a temporary or permanent basis.

  • Registered General Nurses
  • Registered Mental Health Nurses
  • Registered Learning Disability Nurses
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner
  • Practice Nurse
  • Pediatric Nurse
  • Complex Care Nurse
  • Theatre Nurse
  • A&E Nurse
  • Dialysis Nurse
  • Palliative Care Nurses
  • School Nurses
  • Prison Nurses
  • Respiratory Nurses
  • Community Nurses
  • Full-time agency work

     

    Full-time agency workers are welcome, with block bookings and contracts available.

    Benefits of working with Secure Healthcare
    High pay rates
    Flexible shifts
    Regular shifts
    Block bookings
    Online timesheets
    Dedicated Consultant
    Refer a friend scheme
    Free Uniform
    Free Training
    Meet and Greet (First Shift)
    Internal Taxi Service for shifts
    Onsite Financial Advice

When you and your family have decided that home care is necessary, you can either hire an individual on your own, or hire a caregiver through an experienced provider. Trusting a professional licensed agency (CQC) has many advantages over finding home care privately.

Treating your family members like our own

With Secure Healthcare as your home care service provider, you will enjoy personalised service built around your needs. Secure Healthcare pride ourselves on treating people with the same care, kindness and dignity that we would expect our loved ones to be treated.

We pride ourselves on ensuring  persons needing support are Safe, our care treatment and support helps you to maintain quality of life based on best available evidence, our staff involve and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. We ensure our services are responsive to your needs and our management ensure high quality care is provided based on an individuals needs.

If you wish to learn more about how we can support you, please contact us and let one of our advisers come to see you and your family for a more detailed plan on how we can support you.

So what are the benefits Of getting Care at Home?

Living independently at home is something most of us would like to do for as long as possible. When that time comes to make the decision to ask for extra support to continue to live independently as much as possible, our home care services are tailored for exactly that.

Our trained caring friendly staff have your Dignity and respect at the forefront of delivering personalised care in the comfort of your own home. When providing home care for yourself or a family member or friend, we take the time to get to know you and make sure you are continually happy with the care you received and the staff that support you.

Home care  can be arranged on an hourly, daily, weekly basis or a much longer plan to suit your needs. We  provides in-home care and support services to people so they can live as independently as possible in their own homes and communities. We support people to live life the way they choose.

The best person to know what support you need to remain as independent as possible in your own home is you. That is why everything we do is designed around your needs and goals. These can be relatively simple like help with shopping through to high dependency 24 hour care.

  • Housekeeping
  • Personal care
  • Companionship
  • Support with information and advice
  • Housing support
  • High dependency care
  • Live-in care
  • Respite care
  • Medication management
  • Hospital to Home service
  • Complex and specialist care

How Much Does Private Nursing Cost?

When care and support in the home is needed it is often difficult to know where to start, or how the service will be funded. You may choose to pay for care services yourself privately, in which case please contact us and we can arrange an initial meeting to discuss your needs.

One of our advisers will arrange to meet you to discuss your care and support and will be able to offer advice and guidance, spending time with you to discuss the type and level of support that best suits you and make an assessment.

Once the initial assessment has been completed we will create a personal support plan based on how you would like us to help, ensuring that you receive the services you need, when you want them. At this point we will be able to understand more about your requirements and establish what will work best for you and those around you.

Charges are usually based upon an hourly rate but we can accommodate a wide variety of requirements, from the occasional hour or part of, up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We are here to provide support based on your specific needs.

Funded home care

Alternatively you may be entitled to funding support subject to your financial circumstances. For more details contact your local social services who can advise you further.

If you have already been assessed by your local council as needing social services  you are likely to be allocated a personal budget this can be paid in the form of Direct Payments Individual Service Funds (ISFs) or Individual Budgets. You may come across many other phrases for these but fundamentally they all mean the same important thing that you have more choice and control over the care and support you receive.

Read more about Home Care Costs and Funding here : http://dev2.securehealthcaresolutions.co.uk/homecare/costs-and-funding/

If you wish to learn more about how we can support you, please contact us and let one of our advisers come to see you and your family for a more detailed plan on how we can support you.

What areas do we cover and serve ?

We are proud to provide excellent home care services to all the West Midlands region focusing our energy on the following towns  : Wolverhampton, Bilston, Willenhall , Codsall , Essington , Ettingshall, Coven, Brude, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, West Brom,Tettenhall, Wednesfield, Bradmore, Finchfield, Wombourne, Penn, Walsall, Penkridge, Cannock, Essington, Newport (telford), Albrighton, Perton, Stourbridge

WE ARE NOW REGISTERED BY CQC AND ARE OFFERING THESE SERVICES IN HOMECARE.

 

We will always be there for you

Secure Healthcare Solutions will find for you an experienced candidate that will suit all your needs.
Call us on 01902 302017 or write us to homecare@securehealthcaresolutions.co.uk

Choosing the right people to provide care is vital and Secure Healthcare will help you to make the right choice. From companions and domestics through to highly experienced Carers and Registered Nurses. Following a full analysis of an individuals  needs and preferences our experienced advisers will only use staff who they feel are entirely suitable.

We pride ourselves on ensuring  persons needing support are Safe, our care treatment and support helps you to maintain quality of life based on best available evidence, our staff involve and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. We ensure our services are responsive to your needs and our management ensure high quality care is provided based on an individuals needs.

If you wish to learn more about how we can support you, please contact us and let one of our advisers come to see you and your family for a more detailed plan on how we can support you.

Living independently at home is something most of us would like to do for as long as possible. When that time comes to make the decision to ask for extra support to continue to live independently as much as possible, our home care services are tailored for exactly that.

Tailored Home Care services to meet all your needs

Our trained caring friendly staff have your Dignity and respect at the forefront of delivering personalised care in the comfort of your own home. When providing home care for yourself or a family member or friend, we take the time to get to know you and make sure you are continually happy with the care you received and the staff that support you.

Home care can be arranged on an hourly, daily, weekly basis or a much longer plan to suit your needs. We  provides in-home care and support services to people so they can live as independently as possible in their own homes and communities. We support people to live life the way they choose.

The best person to know what support you need to remain as independent as possible in your own home is you. That is why everything we do is designed around your needs and goals. These can be relatively simple like help with shopping through to high dependency 24 hour care.

  • Housekeeping
  • Personal care
  • Companionship
  • Support with information and advice
  • Housing support
  • High dependency care
  • Live-in care
  • Respite care
  • Medication management
  • Hospital to Home service
  • Complex and specialist care

    What tasks to expect from our Carers and Nurses ?

All our staff can help with personal care (assistance with washing, dressing and toileting), mobility and home management. The UK’s Nursing & Midwifery Council recommends that a qualified Nurse is booked for:

  • More advanced medical conditions
  • Management of equipment, e.g. catheters, hoists
  • Administering (rather than prompting) medication
  • Wound care, e.g. pressure sores
  • Professional liaison with local healthcare professionals

Secure Healthcare care can:

  • Professionally assess your needs
  • Identify any risk to client or staff (e.g. from manual handling tasks)
  • Work with your local GP and District Nurse, if appropriate
  • Create (with your full input) a detailed Care Plan.

If you are still unsure about what type of staff you need please feel free to contact us speak to an adviser or contact your local GP or care professional.

Contact our Homecare Department:
Call us on 01902 302017 or write us to homecare@securehealthcaresolutions.co.uk

Last year’s report by Skills for Care on the state of the adult social care sector and workforce in England estimated that just under 340,000 social care employees leave their jobs each year. On average, in care homes there are about 2,800 unfilled manager jobs at any one time while, despite concerted recruitment drives, vacancy rates for social workers in the statutory sector have jumped from 7.3% in 2012 to 11% in 2016, and turnover rates continue to climb.

Sharon Allen, chief executive of Skills for Care, says: “Recruitment and retention is without a doubt the biggest issue for adult social care employers because to have sufficient [levels] of the right people with the right skills is absolutely fundamental to providing quality care and support. It is a big concern for everybody and we’re trying to help promote careers in social care … but there are many challenges.”

With 80% of all jobs in adult social care held by women, something is clearly making women want to leave the sector. And the problems are not just confined to social care. In the NHS, figures from NHS Employers show that 77% of the workforce is female. There are currently 24,000 nursing vacancies (including in social care), according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

In community health nursing, there has been a 12% drop overall in full-time equivalent staffing numbers since September 2009, despite growing demand.

In the East Midlands, district nurse Mary Black says her team and other colleagues are struggling to cope, because of a mixture of unfilled vacancies, maternity leave and long-term sickness absence, which directly affect patient care. “We firefight every single day: moving patient visits, ringing round to see if other teams can help, and we often have to cancel or defer. We have bank and agency nurses to cover vacancies, but not usually sickness or maternity leave, so it means the staff who are left have lots more visits to do each day,” she says. “There is no continuity, as often there’s a different agency nurse each day and there are a lot of duties and patient visits that an agency nurse can’t do, so the complex patients fall to our permanent members of the team. Agency staff often cancel at the last minute and sometimes don’t turn up.”

Black says: “It often feels like we’re not giving our patients a very good service, we cannot spend the time with them that they often need. Incidents and complaints will have risen.”

Rob Davies, a senior physiotherapist at a large hospital in the south-west, which he asked not to be named, says it struggles to attract recruits from further afield. For the last eight months, there have been 12.5 full-time equivalent vacancies for junior physiotherapists and two for senior specialist ones. With major trauma status, and a busy outpatient unit, an overnight and weekend service, the 140 members of the physiotherapy team are swamped, even when they have a full roster of staff. Stress is now the biggest cause of workplace sickness, he says. “[Staff shortages] affect everything from how you manage the caseload, and what you can do for patients, and it contributes to staff stress. It affects morale. I’m surprised that more of us in our department don’t go off sick.

“When you don’t have the right staff levels, we have to see patients on a prioritised basis,” he says. “Patients don’t get the quality and sometimes it means people get sub-optimal outcomes. It’s frustrating and demoralising.” Some of his colleagues have voted with their feet: leaving for private sector jobs with better work-life balance, or moving somewhere with lower house prices. “They are on the same money as it’s nationally done but the property prices are different,” Davies says. In the South-West, the shortages are particularly acute for more junior grades. “It tends to be easier to recruit more senior physios as they are a band up so the pay is better but it still can be an issue getting the right people down to us.”

Last month’s report on the public sector workforce by the Reform thinktank is blunt about the impact of staffing problems. “Public services fail when employees fail,” it concludes. “This is the dramatic lesson from a number of high-profile errors in recent public service delivery. In many instances, quality is compromised, not because of individual incompetence, but the way the workforce is structured and organised.”

With potentially fewer candidates from the EU and more existing staff retiring, it will be crucial for the NHS and social care sectors to attract younger people. Allen says that there is already close working with schools and job centres to promote social care as a career and adult social care has had “phenomenal success” with apprenticeships, although the government’s levy on large employers to help fund apprenticeships could risk this success. “There’s more we can do to promote social care as a really great career for young people,” says Allen. “It’s not just about getting people in, it’s about keeping them.”

As we get older, there are plenty of challenges to overcome. Mobility can be an issue. Your memory could begin to fade. The things you used to take for granted become more difficult. The development of a health problem or a condition such dementia may mean you need someone to watch out for you.

Most of us want to stay in our own home – it’s not only good for mental and physical wellbeing but allows us to stay connected to our local community, the friends and people we’ve shared our space with for so long.

Dementia and increasing frailty as the years go by naturally leads everyone to evaluate what’s best for the future. Decisions about what to do are usually down to close family members who can be torn between keeping mum or dad in their home and making sure they stay as safe and secure, and happy, as possible.

It’s easy to think there’s no real alternative but to move your loved one into a care home where they can receive professional, around the clock attention. For years, it’s been the traditional way we care for our older relatives. But for many people it’s simply not the right solution.

Live-In Carers

There can be numerous reasons why you don’t want to choose the care home option. Mum or dad may well want to stay in the family home for a start. If they’ve lived in the same location for most of their life, why wouldn’t they want to stay? You might be worried the care homes in your area are not up to the right standard or that they cope with too wide a range of residents and won’t be able to give your loved one the attention they need.

Another option is to hire a live-in carer. This is where a professional carer comes into your home and stays in the spare room, catering to your elderly parent’s needs on a full-time basis. While care homes are staffed with compassionate and caring professionals, they can’t normally give the kind of one to one care that older people need.

With a live-in carer, this is exactly what you get.

At Secure Healthcare Solutions we know that care isn’t a once size fits all issue. What works for one person, won’t necessarily be suitable for another. We also know that elderly relatives who remain in the familiar surroundings of their home have a better quality of life than those who find themselves uprooted to a care home.

Letting a stranger into your home to look after your mum or dad can be a big decision, of course. Our selection process is quite involved with a care assessment test and face to face interview as well as on the job monitoring. We make sure that all our staff are fully vetted and have a DBS check. Their job is to build a strong, caring relationship, not just with their ward but those around who have an emotional and familial connection. That’s why we take such care on who comes to work for us.

At Secure Healthcare Solutions, we believe t’s not just about having a full-time carer at home. It’s about the right plan tailored for your needs, getting the perfect match and a carer who essentially becomes a part of the family. Yes, they can handle all medical, health and personal needs but they also provide the companionship that so many of us need in later life.

If you wish to learn more about how we can support you, please contact us and let one of our advisers come to see you and your family for a more detailed plan on how we can support you.

Let us help you get the care you need for the life you want.