Listen our CEO Robbie Shanahan being interviewed on the Mark Carter breakfast show on BBC Radio Sussex (Saturday 20 November) about the challenges the social care sector is facing in terms of staffing and why he has written to funders to appeal for support for long-term solutions to this issue. 

BBC Radio Sussex - Interview with Robbie Shanahan, CEO

Robbie Shanahan has written a letter to local authorities, councillors and funders asking for urgent help in recruiting and retaining our frontline key-workers who provide vital care and support to people with learning disabilities and on the autism spectrum.

The letter states that current funding is not enough for our charity to manage the rising costs of inflation, investment in our services and wage inflation. It appeals for help to provide the real Living Wage to our staff and for funding for training and to cover additional costs caused by managing the impact of COVID, including increased isolation, sick leave and well-being services.

In its recently published State of Health and Social Care in England report, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) confirmed fears that social care providers are facing a staffing crisis, losing staff to better paid jobs in retail and hospitality, and unable to recruit replacements. Across England, numbers of unfilled jobs are rising month on month, the researchers found, from 6% in April to more than 10% in September.

Data from Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) also sets out stark findings nationally for not-for-profit organisations, finding that 91% of charities identified workforce as either their top priority or a high priority for their organisation and that 81% are finding it very difficult or difficult to recruit staff.

Read Robbie's letter here and sign a petition asking the government to increase funding to local authorities so it can be passed on to social care.