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Tees valley operator on recruitment drive

ByNatalie Witterick

Sep 23, 2021

Popular Care Homes is launching a recruitment drive at its homes in Darlington and Eston to help address the staffing shortages hitting the care sector.

Against a backdrop of an aging population, historically low pay rates, mandatory vaccinations, a slowdown in the number of overseas nurses entering the market and competition for some roles from the hospitality sector offering financial incentives, there are significant issues in recruiting across the social care sector. The sector employs about 1.5 million people, but there are currently around 120,000 vacancies and the number is growing.

Wilton House in Darlington and Astune Rise in Eston – both of which are rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – have a number of vacancies in roles including senior care assistants, care assistants and domestic and kitchen staff.

Steve Massey, operations manager at Popular Care Homes, said: “There is no hiding from the fact that there are considerable challenges within our sector, one of which is a lack of people applying for jobs.

“There is a perception that care homes are a poor relation to the NHS, which is certainly not the case. Our staff are professional, caring, and skilled people, and we have very recently reviewed our pay rates to reflect this.

“There must be many people across Tees Valley with the attributes to make a positive impact on the lives of our residents and I would appeal to them to consider a career in care. It’s not an easy option, but it is a very rewarding profession and I believe that since the Covid pandemic the public has realised the hugely valuable contribution care home staff make to society.”