The staffing crisis afflicting the care industry could be solved at a stroke with a generous pay increase, says the owner of a care-in-the-home network.
Staff shortages throughout the industry mean patients are blocking much-needed hospital beds because there’s no-one to look after them at home if they’re discharged.
And care staff have been fleeing the industry - or avoiding it in the first place - because they can earn better money at a supermarket or serving drinks behind a bar.
John Leggott, owner of Blossom Home Care, has protected his own network from any staffing shortage by giving carers a 20% pay rise - and predicts that other care companies will end up following his example if they want to attract and retain staff.
“We were beginning to find it a challenge so we put up our carers’ pay from £10 an hour to £12,” he says.
“We covered that by raising the rates we charge the NHS, local authorities and private clients and we met no resistance whatever.
“I was very surprised, but everybody agreed to the rise in fees so we could maintain the quality and continuity of care.
“We tried it out first at Head Office in case it led to cancellations, but we haven’t lost anyone and now our franchisees are rolling it out across the network.
“We’re proud to be leading the way on pay rates in the domiciliary care sector and it makes it so much easier for our franchisees to be operating at the top of the market.”
John says staff retention was already very good because Blossom invests in its carers and the standard 50-minute home visits mean they have time to deliver the proper care they joined the profession to give.