Event held to raise awareness of staff shortages in social care across Herts

Nicola with a women she cares for, Joan. Picture: HCC

Nicola with a women she cares for, Joan. Picture: HCC - Credit: Archant

Social workers in St Albans held events throughout July as part of a campaign to raise awareness of an employment shortage in Herts.

An aging and increasing population, as well as greater demand for learning disability support, has put pressure on the care industry and it is now struggling to cope.

There are 31,000 people working in social care across the county, but at any one time there are 4,000 job vacancies to fill.

Herts county council (HCC) ran the Good Care Campaign throughout July in partnership with Hertfordshire Care Providers Association (HCPA) to try and raise awareness of an industry currently struggling to keep enough staff.

The campaign urged people to consider a career in care by highlighting impressive examples of work across the county and holding events to celebrate its current employees.

Nicola Eggerton, who works as a care worker at B&M’s Clare Lodge in St Albans, said: “I’d definitely recommend a career in care to other people; it’s a good job to be in. It shows responsibility, promoting elderly care, welfare and independence for the people you look after and it’s also nice to know you’re giving back to people.”

The 33-year-old added: “My family and friends love the fact that I work in care, because I’ve learnt a lot from the elderly generations telling me about their past, their experiences and lots of lessons they’ve already learned – I pass all that onto my family.”

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HCC cabinet member for adult care and health, Colette Wyatt-Lowe, said: “Hertfordshire is lucky enough to have thousands of great care practitioners, who make a big difference to the lives of some of Hertfordshire’s most vulnerable residents, but we still need more.

“The number of people needing social care in Hertfordshire is increasing year on year; it’s important that we find caring and compassionate professionals to continue to provide help to look after our friends and loved ones who need that support.”

HCPA chief executive Sharon Davies said it was great to see so much support for the campaign: “Good Care Month is the perfect opportunity to say thank you to everyone who works in care in Hertfordshire.”

For more information about working in care, visit www.hertsgoodcare.com.