You've no doubt heard of the baby boomers – they are the people born during a big peak in birth rate between the mid-1940s after the second world war, until the early 1960s. They are now aged in their 50s to 70s, and nearing the end of their working life or retired. Some of them are already moving into nursing homes or needing care in their own home. This demographic bulge means there is more demand on the social care system than ever before. And it's going to get worse.
In fact, the Lancet public health journal published a study predicting that the number of over 85s needing 24-hour care is set to double by the year 2035. At the same time, over 65s needing full-time care will increase by 1 million.
In June 2018, they announced that the NHS budget will increase by £20bn per year by 2023. Also, a spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care said their plan for dealing with the aging population would be announced this Autumn.
Will Brexit make a difference?
You might be wondering about the potential impact of Brexit. Well, a Government spokeswoman said that plans are in place to ensure patients receive the same quality of care after Brexit – but not everyone agrees. In a letter sent on behalf of its 435,000 members, the Royal College of Nursing told the UK's main political parties that Brexit "poses an immediate risk to the provision of safe and effective care" for patients in the UK.
The RCN also warns that Brexit could exacerbate ongoing problems in the NHS, such as workforce sustainability, and backs a second referendum.
What can be done?
Despite this increase in demand, vacancies in the care workforce have increased 12.3% year on year. It may seem a bleak picture, but there are things you can do to future-proof your organisation.
Here are three ideas:
1. Employ more men - Traditionally, men make up just 15.3% of the care workforce, according to a UK census. To encourage more men into the sector, it's important to be seen as an inclusive and diverse employer, and promote the fact that caring is seen as a fulfilling and satisfying job.
2. Harness technology - Allow employees to work more flexibly, such as remote working using smartphones. You can also set up and run support groups on social media platforms.
3. Make your organisation more appealing to employees - Do you need to revisit your benefits package? Perhaps it's time to allow flexible working, grant shared parental leave, or boost your pension scheme, for example.
Of course the other thing you can do is talk to the Brook Street social care team – we'll talk you through the current state of the care industry, and who we have currently available in our talent pool that might suit you. We'll also manage your entire recruitment strategy from CV selection to assessments.
So perhaps the outlook is not so dismal after all.