Social care’s winter crisis and Care City

The Office for National Statistics recently reported that 43,900 excess winter deaths occurred among over 65s this winter – many of which were entirely preventable. This is double that of 2013/14, and throws into sharp relief the calamitous effects the winter months can have on the nation’s elderly population. The fact this figure is rising so dramatically is totally unacceptable in an advanced country like the UK, and represents a significant failure on the part of policymakers to tackle underlying issues.

As Age UK Charity Director, Caroline Abrahams states, cold homes, high energy prices and a lack of support combine to create a ‘toxic situation’ for the elderly which is compounded by the effects of loneliness.  Furthermore, gas and electricity companies are doing little to alleviate the elderly’s winter troubles. Prices remain high, and service providers’ over-reliance on online support systems have recently been shown to leave many of the elderly population without access to vital support, also contributing to illness.

While residential care could provide a solution to this issue, care homes are expensive at over £29,000 per year, and leave many residents without independence. Family care is another option but many find the strain of caring for a family member while simultaneously pursuing a career an impossible task.

An alternative exists, however, in professional home care. Home care provides a cheaper option to residential care while also providing the elderly with important companionship and allowing greater independence. With an ever-increasing elderly population and a deficit in the number of trained social carers active in the UK, more needs to be done to ensure that the sector is capable of meeting the population’s needs.

Coupled with innovative approaches to social care, home care can play a crucial role in meeting the growing care needs of modern Britain. It is therefore encouraging to see the launch of projects like ‘Care City’, which opens this month.  Care City seeks to transform and modernise the way care and services are provided, improving life for the elderly and for the carer. Innovations include the Canary, a device that family members can use to track relative’s movements meaning they don’t have to leave work to check on them.

The success of Care City has yet to be tested but, with its strong ethos and focus on patient welfare, may just serve as a blueprint for future attempts to produce an overall approach to social care for the elderly.

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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.

Do I need a driving licence?

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:

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.