2022 has been a busy year for the car sector with many challenges, opportunities and changes. What hasn’t changed, however, is the dedication and efforts put into this most rewarding of sectors by the approximately 1.62 million people who work in UK adult social care alone (SOURCE: The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England (skillsforcare.org.uk)).
During the past twelve months, people working in care have had to face a number of difficult situations, from cost of living rises and fuel bill hikes to increasing demand on the NHS and other medical services, following the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. Read on to find out more.
Cost of living
Rises in the cost of living have been felt by all sectors and parts of the UK, with those on lower incomes affected most of all. The government has stepped in with some measures to help out, however, many people have had to tighten their belts and work out what to prioritise in their spending to keep things afloat. Cost-of-living increases have also affected care homes and care organisations, which have seen surges in prices for supplies, equipment and services. Switching to digital care management software has helped many organisations keep track of their budgets, reduce wastage and keep a closer eye on the financial bottom line.
Demand for social care
One of the main fall-outs from the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK has been a marked increase in the demand for social care. This has corresponded in 2022 with added pressures on the NHS, extremes of weather and other contributory factors. Many people are experiencing symptoms of long covid, several months on from falling ill with the original virus. Others are living with complex medical conditions and concerns that were not caught and treated earlier due to the pandemic. Residential care is seeing increased demand for its services as a result of all this, which medical and healthcare staff across the country have been working incredibly hard to try and meet.
Numerous reports have revealed that many people are stull struggling with their mental health following the pandemic. The situation has also not been helped by added pressures around cost-of-living worries, fuel bill increases and worries over the conflict in Ukraine Many young people are finding it hard to return to life as it was before COVID-19 and schools are reporting increased instances of poor mental health and interrupted support structures among students. (SOURCE: Children’s Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic – POST (parliament.uk)). Care sector workers should take time to look after their own mental health too, as the year draws to a close – why not make this one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2023?
In amongst the worrying news, however is the welcome commitment from NHSX to provide £8.2 million in funding to support care homes and other organisations to ‘go digital’ in 2022 and beyond. (SOURCE: Digitising social care fund – Digitising Social Care – NHS Transformation Directorate (england.nhs.uk)) The money is being allocated to support care homes and organisations wishing to move over to digital care management systems to help improve quality of care, accessibility of records and high-speed connectivity for care providers.
On a related note, Care Vision was proud to have been accredited by NHSX for excellence in digital care at the end of December 2021 and placed on the assured supplier list. We have welcomed several new customers during 2022 and are working with them to help integrate the Care Vision system into their working routines and make the switch from paper-based records to digital. The Care Vision team remains committed to supporting all of our customers in 2023 to get the most out of our digital care management software. We would also like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and restful New Year. Thank you to all those who are working in the care sector over the holiday season – you are performing a highly valuable role for those in need of medical and social care support.