- Almost half (49%) of UK care sector workers have at least one patient whose only regular social contact is them.
- This means 485,000 of society’s most vulnerable are linked only to the wider world by their care worker.
- With 27% of care workers thinking of leaving the sector in next 12 months & 50,000 reportedly left already, the loneliness epidemic will get worse.
- The same study found that 23% of care workers have patients who cannot afford the correct food or nutrition, and many (22%) cannot afford necessities altogether.
Nearly half (49%) of care workers report they have had at least one patient whose only regular social contact is them according to a shocking new YouGov survey into the state of UK care. Given that the King’s Fund estimates there are 988,000 UK care workers, this would mean 485,000 of society’s most vulnerable whose only link with the wider world is their care worker: a staggering epidemic of loneliness.
The same survey, commissioned by leading care provider Newcross Healthcare, demonstrates that it now more important than ever for the vulnerable and elderly to have this last line of defence as the cost-of-living crisis bites. A quarter of care workers surveyed (25%) reported that patients have stopped turning the heating on. The study also found that 23% of care workers have patients who cannot afford the correct food or nutrition, and 22% cannot afford necessities altogether.
This alarming news comes at a time of crisis for the care sector, with the YouGov survey also reporting that over a quarter of care workers (27%) are considering leaving the sector in the next 12 months in addition to the 50,000 that have already abandoned the sector according to Skills for Care.
Co-founder & COO of Newcross Healthcare and Nurse Michelle Gorringe said “I have seen first-hand through my career the impact carers make, especially with so many who have no other contact. Chronic understaffing means that care visits are shortened or do not happen making the situation worst. As a society, we don’t recognise the work social care workers do enough, and this just shows another element of the vital work they do for our vulnerable and elderly. Care workers are very special people who can transform someone’s day with a touch or a smile”
CEO and Co-founder, Stephen Pattrick Added “We need to do more as a society to recognise care workers, ensuring our appreciation is equal for both those working in social care and the NHS. Care workers are the last line of defence for thousands, and without them, the NHS simply would not be able to cope. That’s why we are doing all we can to encourage more people to come and work in the sector through wellbeing support and high-quality learning and development.”