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No Ordinary Crisis: An Extraordinary Solution?

A National Crisis?:

Recently published research by both the Care Quality Commission and Skills for Care has painted a bleak picture of current staffing levels in social care. Indeed, new evidence suggests that staffing in social care is currently at pre-COVID levels, impacting both on quality of provision and morale within staff teams. The word “crisis” has frequently been used to describe a depleted workforce struggling on a daily basis to carry out their roles effectively.

In response, the Department of Health and Social Care recently launched the “Made with Care” campaign, aimed at increasing staffing levels in the social care sector. This campaign is an acknowledgment from the government of the problem and an investment into the solution. But, does it go far enough? There has been initial scepticism in some quarters of the sector, with concerns specifically around the targeting of the campaign. So, who are the Department of Health and Social Care trying to recruit?

In my previous life as a health and social care manager, I was involved in what often seemed an endless process of recruitment, induction, training and retention of staff. Quite often, I knew instinctively which candidates would be a good fit for advertised roles; personal qualities are just as important as prior experience or vocational qualifications. I recently participated in a discussion forum about the qualities which optimise success in business. What particularly resonated was that these very same qualities should contribute to solving the crisis in social care. The sector needs extraordinary staff working collaboratively to provide professional, person-centred services…


Working in social care is a truly unique experience; providing immense challenges, but equally incredible rewards. To overcome these challenges and to accept that rewards aren’t always financial, takes a very specific kind of person; someone who is completely passionate about, and has unwavering belief in, the work they do.

It is fair to say that care work draws in certain personality types; individuals who are required to be both extrovert and empathetic to effectively meet the complex demands of the role. Coupled with this is a commitment to working for the people you support; a passion for working alongside service users to achieve the goals they want for themselves.


Since the first wave of the COVID pandemic, social care professionals are working in an altered reality. The expectations of the role are ever-changing, due to government and industry expectations, changing policies and increased resource challenges. Social care workers are required to be more resilient than ever, and have risen to that challenge immeasurably in the past 18 months.

New recruits to the sector, more than ever, need the right attitude to Support Work; entering the profession with their eyes wide open, aware of the inevitable challenges ahead for the sector. Some shifts will test the skills and qualities of support staff to the absolute limit; we need people in our sector who can bounce back quickly, and return to work the next day optimistic- with a smile and ready to go again!


Being a social care practitioner has always involved dealing with complex situations, such as safeguarding adults at risk or managing health conditions associated with disabilities. However, the pandemic has changed the landscape of social care provision further; there are now increasingly risky situations we are expecting our social care workers to navigate. Whilst it is exciting to have variety in our working lives, it also takes immense courage to walk into the unknown every day and consistently make tough decisions, doing the best job for those individuals needing support.

Moving Forward:

The “Made with Care” recruitment initiative does indeed appear to focus on these qualities which define extraordinary care and support. The government would be well advised to work more collaboratively with social care providers to build upon these emerging foundations. Those within the sector know that once we employ the right staff into the profession, the additional skills required to be an extraordinary carer can be taught. There also needs to be a clear developmental pathway for each recruit; individualised training and mentoring which enables them to progress and further their career.

For more information on how Montgomery Simpson Care Training Consultancy can support your new recruits to become extraordinary, please take a look at the website or drop me an email to arrange a no-obligation discussion

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