Nurses are too often relying on food banks

One in five residential care workers lived in poverty – before the cost of living crisis | UK News

According to a new study, one in five residential care workers in the UK lived in poverty before the cost of living crisis.

Care home and assisted living staff are also much more likely to live in poverty than the average British worker, according to analysis by the Health Foundation.

He said low pay is a “political choice” and warned that for many care providers, “work is not a reliable route out of poverty”.

The revelation comes as people across the country grapple with the cost of living crisis and runaway inflation.

The think tank pooled data over three years from two government surveys of household and family income and living conditions in the UK.

Health Foundation policy director Hugh Alderwick said: “Social workers – who are mostly women – play a vital role in society but are among the lowest paid workers in the UK and know shocking levels of poverty and deprivation.

“Many cannot afford enough food, shelter, clothing and other basic necessities, which puts their health at risk.

“Sustained underfunding of social care has contributed to unacceptable wages and conditions for staff and major labor shortages, with vacancies in England rising by 52% last year.

“It reflects political choices. If the government values ​​people using and providing social care, it must act to tackle low pay and precarious working conditions in the sector.”

The sample size over three years was 1,488 carers aged 16 and over working in nursing homes, care homes and assisted living facilities for the elderly and disabled.

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Poverty was defined as having household income less than 60% of median household income after housing costs.

About one in five residential care workers (18.5%) lived in poverty between April 2017 and April 2020, according to the analysis.

This compares to 12.5% ​​of all workers and 8.5% of healthcare workers, with “limited change” since 2012, suggesting “persistently high levels of poverty”.

The analysis revealed that a further 8.5% of social workers lived just above the poverty line, meaning that in total more than a quarter lived in poverty or on the verge of poverty.

Labor was also twice as likely to receive Universal Credit and benefit from the old system as general workers (19.6% vs. 9.8%), according to the report.

Moreover, more than a quarter of the adult social care workforce in England is over 55 and could retire in the next decade, leaving already high vacancy rates even higher.

That’s according to a new report from Skills for Care, which also found staff turnover rates of almost 30% last year.

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