There is a social care crisis in the UK. The fact that a lot of people do not know about this problem is another pointer to the problems facing the social care department in the United Kingdom. It is when the public knows about a problem that enough pressure is mounted on the relevant authorities to fix the problem. This is exactly what this article seeks to do; create awareness about the problem, and identify the causes so that the relevant quarters can find a workable solution.
Social care is the provision of care and support for people who need it due to old age, disabilities, illness, and any other circumstances. It includes help with daily activities such as eating and washing to other aspects of life such as socializing. While a large percentage of the social care providers work informally (children caring for older family members) there is a considerable percentage of people who get paid to offer social care and this article seeks to identify the problems associated with the formal social care department.
The most serious crisis facing the social care department in the UK is the mismatch between funding and demand for social care. The funding available for social care in the UK today is way below the demands of the sector. As a result, care providers are being underpaid, there is widespread burnout and fatigue among workers and these problems have led to mass resignation in the social care workforce. As if this is not enough, there are more people in need of housing for the elderly and disabled that the available housing. This put a lot of stress on the available houses for adults and the disabled and this doesn’t spell well for the sector. In summary, the social care sector seems to be on its weak knees at the moment and only a drastic solution provided by the relevant authorities can save this institution.
However, what is the reasons for this crisis? Apart from the inadequate funding allocated for the sector, there are other reasons why the social care sector is in crisis at the moment. Some of these reasons in the increase in population, longer lifespans, and a decrease in mortality. While most of these reasons are not bad reasons, they have put a strain on the sector by increasing the number of people that social caregivers have to attend to. Coupled with the fact that many social care providers are leaving their jobs, the crisis is quite easy to see.
Finally, the last reason responsible for the crisis currently experienced in the social care sector is the privatization of the sector. In a bid to create choices and competition to beat down costs, the UK government through the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, the sector was opened to market forces. What followed is that the cost of getting a care home for the elderly increased in a bid for these private homes to make large profits.