ProCare Nursing we have conducted a short survey. From our office pictured below we conduct our own industry research to better understand how our industry is evolving, we also provide that information to local authorities and organisation bodies so it helps them better shape the health and social care sector.
We have been interested to find out whether people who went through secondary school ever heard of care work or nursing as a viable career path. We also wanted to get the views of how people perceive working in the health and social care sector from pay and other factors.
The results we have gained through our study we can only describe as concerning. It is clear from this new study there is great need to reform how we engage with the public when it comes to promoting nursing and care work as a viable career path. Other factors need to be addressed as the public clearly have negative views about working in the health and social care sector as the statistic will show.
Why should we be concerned?
Since June ProCare Nursing have been writing about the increase in demands on health care services in Wales. The graph below shows that there will be 100,000 more people living until they are 80 and over by 2034, this means there will be a need for 20,000 extra care support workers in Wales by 2034 to meet the care needs of the ageing population.
We have also written about the short fall in nursing placements in the NHS, there are currently 40,000 nursing placements un-filled and vacant in the NHS today.
To find out the possible reasons why vacancies are vacant we ran a survey, we also ran this survey to see if there are future problems in recruiting 20,000 more care support workers. Lastly we ran the survey to see if promotion of the health and social care sector has been neglected over the past two decades if not longer.
The questions we asked survey participants
We surveyed 53 people and put 7 simple questions to each person based on health and social care factors. Here are the seven questions we asked.
1) When in secondary school education did you ever think that nursing or care work would be a viable career path for your future?
2) While in school education did you ever see any advertising making you want to choose a career in nursing or care work?
3) What is your perception of working in the health and social care sector?
4) What is your perception of pay rates working as a nurse or care support worker?
5) Would you work as a nurse or care support worker for the money or for compassionate reasons?
6) Are you male or female?
7) How old are you?
Here are our findings from the questions we asked
The statistics are quite concerning and it clearly shows that there are negative views about working in the health and social care sector. Here are the results.
Yes – 22.64%
No – 77.36%
Yes – 11.32%
No – 88.68%
Poor industry to work in – 49.06%
Good industry to work in – 50.94%
Low Pay – 94.36%
High Pay – 5.66%
Money – 3.77%
Compassion – 50.94%
Both – 45.28%
Male – 41.51%
Female – 58.49%
Prefer not say – 0%
Under 18 – 1.89%
18-34 – 56.60%
35-44 – 18.87%
45-54 – 7.55%
Analysis of statistics
The statistics generated from question 1 and question 2 are very concerning. It is clear to see that there is a legacy of neglect when it comes to promoting care work in education from secondary school and onward dating as far back as the 1970’s, we have come to this conclusion as the majority of our survey participants are between the age of 18 and 64, survey participants would have attended secondary school in the 1970’s.
The fact that question 1 states that 77.36% of survey participants never thought that nursing or care work was a viable career path is high, in question 2 88.62% of people said they had never seen any advertising of care work in secondary education, this is a high percentage and a possible reason why nurse and care worker placements are hard to fill because they haven’t received the exposure they need, and because the industry is not adequately or pro-actively promoted along with advertising content not being effective.
Both question 1 and 2 are statistics that should give us cause for concern, especially considering by 2034 we need to recruit an extra 20,000 new care support workers. If we are to reach this recruitment target, the Welsh Government will need to look at actively promoting care work and nursing as a viable career path.
Question 3 produced interesting results, 49.06% who took the survey said they perceived the health and social care sector as a poor industry to work in, whereas 50.94% think it is a good industry to work in, as you can tell very divided views. We believe this could be related to pay rates and also the appeal the sector offers for people who have compassionate values, this leads us on to question 4 and 5 relating to pay and values.
Question 4 we asked what peoples perceptions were of pay rates working in the health and social care sector. A land slide of 94.36% said low pay and 5.66% said high pay, this clearly shows the publics view about pay in the health and social care sector is negative, we believe that the stigma about pay rates in the health and social care sector could be a barrier in meeting the 20,000 new care support workers needed by 2034, the statistics clearly support that assumption.
Question 5 we asked would you work as a nurse or care support worker for the money or for compassionate reasons, the results here were interesting, only 3.77% said they would work for the money, 50.94% said they would work for the compassionate values the job role offers, and 45.28% said they would work for both money and compassion. This clearly shows that people would work in the health and social care sector however money and pay rates of delivering care work need to be addressed.
Our new study shows that there has been a legacy of neglect when it comes to promoting and advertising care work and nursing careers dating back to the 1970’s. The statistics clearly show that the public’s view of pay in the health and social care sector are negative, this is an area that needs to be looked at, especially if the care sector is to recruit an extra 20,000 new care support workers by 2034, health services are going to increase in the next 15 years so solutions have to be found.
From the survey it is clear that people would work in the health and social care sector for compassionate reasons, it is not just about money but also about delivering health care services to service users to help them live dignified lives in older age. This is a positive we can take from this survey, however a long term strategy needs to be put in place to help break the negative stigma people have about working in the health and social care sector especially when it comes to pay rates.