Changes in turnover and vacancy rates of care workers

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The combination of growing demand for long-term care and higher expectations of care staff needs to be set in the context of long-standing concerns about the sustainability of recruitment and retention of front- line staff in the United Kingdom. Organisational and work environment factors are associated with vacancy levels and turnover rates. The aim of the current analysis was to investigate changes in turnover and vacancy rates over time experienced by a sample of social care employers in England. Taking a follow-up approach offers potentially more accurate estimates of changes in turnover and vacancy rates, and enables the identification of any different organisational characteristics which may be linked to reductions in these elements over time. The study constructed a panel of 2964 care providers (employers) using 18 separate data sets from the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care during 2008–2010. The findings indicate slight reductions in vacancy rates but the presence of enduring, high turnover rates among direct care workers over the study period. However, the experience of individual employers varied, with home-care providers experiencing significantly higher turnover rates than other parts of the sector. These findings raise questions around the quality and motivations of new recruits and methods of reducing specific vacancy levels. At a time of increased emphasis on care at home, it is worthwhile examining why care homes appear to have greater stability of staff and fewer vacancies than home-care agencies.

Hussein, S., Ismail, M. and Manthorpe, J. (2016) Changes in turnover and vacancy rates of care workers in England from 2008 to 2010: Panel analysis of national workforce data. Health & Social Care in the Community. 24(5): 547-556. 

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.

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Director of Analytical Research Ltd, and Affiliate Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Mohamed is trained in engineering (MEng – Cairo University), computer science (MSc – Cairo University) and mathematical finance (MSc – CASS Business School, University of London). Mohamed started his career in in the City of London in 1990s, working as a quantitative analyst for leading global financial organisations, such as Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Mizuho and Credit Suisse, before he began to shift his focus onto quantitative social research. Since 2009, he has worked as an independent researcher in the field of social sciences with a particular drive to make use of different statistical and mathematical modelling techniques for the analysis of large and multi-dispersed data sets.

He has worked with universities in the UK, Europe, Australia and the Middle East; publishing a number of peer-reviewed articles. He has also been invited to give talks and presentations at several leading universities and organisations. His current research interests focus on exploring the potential role of mathematical dynamical systems in the field of population ageing across health and social care. Mohamed is the Director of Analytical Research ltd and an affiliate at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford.