Home care workforce trends 2020

2020 is set to bring continued growth in the domiciliary care industry. From increased demand, to wage increases, to technology-enabled care, we take a look at some of the biggest trends expected to affect the home care workforce in 2020.

More job vacancies

Health and social care dominated the rankings of fastest-growing jobs in 2019, according to job vacancy site, Indeed. 7 out of the top 10 most common vacancies fell in the health and social care sector, with ‘travelling nurse’ and ‘home care nurse’ at the top of the list.

With 71% of people now preferring to remain in their own homes as they age, it comes as no surprise to see the market for domiciliary care growing so rapidly.

By 2035, Skills for Care forecasts a massive 800,000 additional jobs will be required, bringing the total number of people working in care to 2.42 million workers. This will increase the pressure already felt by home care agencies trying to fill roles, in a sector with approximately 122,000 vacancies at any one time.

An aging workforce

Interestingly, the people most likely to fill these vacancies are older themselves. Recent data published by the ONS found that during the next decade, over half of people new to the workforce will be aged 65 and over.

An increasing number of over 65s are choosing to come out of retirement, with a recent study by Home Instead Senior Care, one of the largest domiciliary care providers in the UK, finding that a quarter of over-65s felt they gave up their careers too soon. 

Many retirees returning to work cited a routine, an active mind, spending time with colleagues and the monthly salary amongst the things they missed from the world of work.

In response to this trend and the demand for workers within the care sector, Home Instead Senior Care launched its ‘UnRetire Yourself’ campaign – encouraging people who still feel they have more to give to a workplace to consider a new career in care. 

Wage increases

The Government has announced an increase in the National Living Wage from April 2020. Set to rise by 6.2% to £8.72 an hour – the biggest increase since 2016 – it is expected to benefit over three million UK workers.

For many care workers, this will mean a tangible increase in pay in the short-term. However in sectors like home care where funds are already stretched, the raise is likely to have a significant impact on finances.

At the last estimate, Skills for Care calculated that 83% of independent adult social care organisations were paying at least some of their workers below the March 2019 wage threshold, ahead of the most recent increase.

In response to the wage increases, UKHCA has calculated a minimum price for home care of £20.69 per hour from 1st April 2020, based on legally compliant pay rates and the costs of operating a financially sustainable business.

Technology-enabled care

With the Care Quality Commission pushing technology as a driver for improving standards within care, it comes as no surprise to see technology continue to be a major trend in 2020.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock has called on the sector to “embrace the tide of technology” and emphasised the role that technology can play in “bridging the gap between finite resources and the growing demand”.

Meanwhile, the UK Government has set aside £4.5 million in investment to bridge the technology gap between the NHS and social care. The money is aimed to help develop projects that promote information sharing and assistive technologies, to support vulnerable people to live independently for longer. 

And Home Care Insight is calling on professionals in the adult social care sector to nominate what they predict will be the pivotal solutions to transform domiciliary care provision in 2020.

Between the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and assistive technologies, we’re expecting software, technology and digital solutions to continue to be a major theme for home care well into the new decade.

Unlocking potential via CPD

As technology-enabled care becomes more and more prevalent within the domiciliary care sector, CPD (Continuing Professional Development) could be the key to unlocking its potential.

Julie Hyde of CACHE – a care qualifications provider – has commented on how care workers need both an understanding of the role technology can play in enhancing the care they provide, as well as the skills to use it effectively. 

Whilst a lack of familiarity with technology can build-up a degree of suspicion and resistance, CPD, and the training and qualifications that underpin it, could be the answer to refreshing care workers’ skills and knowledge, building confidence and encouraging them to embrace the opportunities for better care that technology presents.

We’ll be watching with interest as technology continues to lend a supportive hand to home care providers. To find out more about Unique IQ’s software for home care, please get in touch with us on 0800 888 6868 or visit www.uniqueiq.co.uk.

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