Commissioning care homes: common safeguarding challenges
Underlying causes – Staffing levels
Staffing levels that are inadequate to meet the assessed needs of individuals are often cited as a reason for poor quality care. There are a number of problems that lead to inadequate staffing that are interrelated in that each problem can exacerbate other related problems:
- the low status and pay of care work
- poor training and support for staff
- staff feeling stressed, rushed and overworked leading to low morale, burnout and potentially poor standards of care
- high levels of sickness increasing pressure on the remaining staff in the workplace
- high staff turnover resulting in wasted training resources and high recruitment costs.
- Commissioners and providers agree on adequate levels of staffing to meet individual needs.
- Commissioners provide sufficient funding for agreed staffing levels, including absence cover, and monitor to ensure agreed levels are consistently maintained.
- Care workers in the home are valued, respected and properly supported. They are well trained, supervised and adequately paid.
- The home has a register of regular bank staff and is not reliant on agency care workers.
- Staff show a good awareness of how to access external support (e.g. community health teams, voluntary organisations).