NHS blunders and the provision of social care

This week, the Times published a damning report highlighting the acute waste associated with this government’s ‘streamlining’ of the NHS, as more than £90m was spent on redundancy to staff who were then immediately rehired. This does not come at a good time for the health service, which is still reeling from the press attention its reported £2.2 billion deficit attracted at the end of last year.

The Times also reveals that £150 million was spent on management consultancy designed to make the health service more efficient. Both revelations highlight the gross mismanagement and the misspending of public funds that should have gone to those who needed it most: the vulnerable and ill.

This is also not the first time that the NHS has come under scrutiny for frivolous, expensive and – in some cases – downright unnecessary recruitment costs. In one instance, an interim finance chief for one trust was paid £1m a year – highlighting the double standards at play of an organisation that claims it wants to cap the rates it pays for vital agency staff.

With so many challenges facing the wider health and social care sector, The Times is right to point out that patients will be left furious at such extreme waste when taxpayer money could be far better spent. For example, poor NHS governance has manifested itself in the ‘bed-blocking’ scandal, as covered in this recent Prestige blog. Last year alone, this problem cost the NHS £305 million, a sum the organisation can ill-afford.

Along with better financial management, bed-blocking can only be overcome if the supply of nurses and social-care workers is increased. This is a difficult task, however, and several barriers exist that perturb such a policy. One such example resides in the exponential expansion of the elderly population, the population of men aged 75 and over having increased by 149% since 1974. The immigration cap also seriously hampers the employment of nurses from overseas, further damaging the supply of care available.

The provision of trained and compassionate social-care professionals is a vital part of our healthcare system and is necessary for its continued success. With supply so low and demand so high, it is also a problem that must be combated now, before the situation grows out of control. This will be expensive but, unlike the mismanagement of NHS funds, it is also money well spent. Rather than wasting resources and money, health care leaders need to consider an over-arching approach to improve efficiency and see how health and social care can combine to alleviate the sector’s challenges.

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Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

Do I need care experience to join?

Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

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A full clean driving is required for some roles, but not all. Job roles normally state if a driving licence is required, but if you are unsure then please contact the recruitment team on 0808 239 9716.

What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about.

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

You will need to complete both online e-learning modules and virtual training via Microsoft Teams. This is very flexible and can be completed from home as long as you have a compatible device. Find out more about the training we offer.

Is the training free?

Yes, the training is completely free.

Do you offer regular patterns of work?

Yes, our branches offer a wide variety of hours and shift patterns.

Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.