It’s inevitable, but during every carer’s career, they’re going to encounter patients they’re ill-equipped to support, let alone nurse; especially if they have progressive conditions like dementia. Rob Elsmore of Oxbridge Home Learning explains how specialist training can make a difference to staff, patients, and the sector.
Recently, the care sector was hit with sizable stats from the CQC and Lancet. We’re talking over 1 million elderly people receiving inadequate care, the need for 71,000 care homes to handle an aging population, and forecasts of an extra 353,000 older people needing specialist care for complex, long-term conditions. Add understaffed care homes, 71% with undertrained staff, and you’ll see how upskilling might procure hope, survival and efficiency for an industry on the verge of collapse.
In the UK, there are 850,000 people with dementia; a figure that’s estimated to exceed 1 million by 2025. But what if care homes were prepared. What if the incentive for staff wasn’t acquiring specialist training simply to care for vulnerable people but to make their jobs easier, less stressful, thus improving retention and motivating employees to want to specialise in areas of palliative, dementia and mental health care.
Benefits like increased productivity, communication and patient satisfaction would immediately impact those participating. And with nationwide collaboration, we’d create a ripple effect with the potential to change the state of adult care in a post-Brexit climate that’s bogged down by deficits, negligence and ambiguity. The stakes are high, so we should cooperate to raise standards and meet workforce challenges.
Imagine nursing homes with sections specialising in complex conditions like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. At once, key sector burdens or pressures are alleviated as staff can now manage patients bespoke needs. Extra training would see supervisors delegate efficiently. Organisational structure would improve. Staff can destress because patients would be easier to support – even during those crucial end-of-life months.
While work hours, wages and staffing are still present issues, a skilled labour force can work wonders with limited resources. Nowadays, care training is more accessible, from distance learning courses, to onsite training schemes, seminars, and partnering with specialist providers to gain the skills needed to succeed. Currently, there’s over 15 million people (23%) in the UK aged 60 and over. With the elderly population estimated to grow to 18.4 million by 2025, now’s the ideal time to train and specialise to bear the boom.