There are so many instances when I visit services every week where I see fantastic examples of staff ‘going the extra mile’. So this week I want to concentrate my blog on all those staff who work so very hard, often doing extra shifts and overtime, to ensure the people we support are receiving good care.
This is particularly relevant given the huge recruitment challenges the social care sector currently faces. With increasing Local Authority budget cuts and austerity measures we have been unable to achieve any significant fee increases for some years and this is a challenge faced across the sector. You will no doubt have seen much exposure to this in the news recently with startling headlines such as: ‘social care system beginning to collapse as 900 carers quit every day.’ What is not said however is that approximately 1,000 people join the sector every day and of the 900 people that leave, most go to work for other providers rather than leave the sector. The problem is not only about underfunding but ‘churn’ rather than turnover.
Whilst I wholeheartedly agree that the government needs to invest more money and resources into the sector, what is often overlooked, are the many benefits of working in social care. It is an industry that you can join with absolutely no experience or qualifications and yet can be an outstanding support worker. These people have the right values and the right attitude towards working with people who need care and support and they never fail to impress me. They are the people who shine and are often willing to ‘go the extra mile’ for the people they support, especially when we are short staffed, which has unfortunately been the case all too often recently.
CMG has invested many resources into giving these staff every opportunity to develop their careers. Our Learning and Development and Clinical Teams (who I firmly believe are some of the best in the industry) regularly deliver training sessions to enhance skills. We also invest financially in supporting staff to undertake qualifications in social care. As a result we have countless examples of employees in CMG who have progressed very successfully from Support Workers to Leads, Deputies, Team Leaders, Managers and Regional Directors. There are few industries where this can be the case for people who initially join with no experience or qualifications (or indeed can be any age). Nor are there many industries where the reward of helping a vulnerable person improve their quality of life, is so great.
So my thanks go to all those staff who provide such excellent support in CMG on a day to day basis and especially those who are working particularly hard at the moment to cover shifts. I would urge all managers to make full use of our Employee of the Month scheme, Team of the Quarter scheme and Annual Staff Awards to ensure these individuals are individually recognised.