Shortage of staff poses 'potentially catastrophic risk' to care services in Jersey

The report notes that many care providers have "insufficient numbers of experienced staff". Credit: ITV Channel TV

A shortage of staff poses a "potentially catastrophic risk" to care services in Jersey, an independent regulator has warned.

The Care Commission's report claims vacancy rates are increasing, and that care providers are struggling to maintain quality and safety standards.

It also says demand on local care services is "intensifying".

The review calls for a long-term plan which focuses on suitable housing, worker retention, and forming better relationships between the government and the island's care services.

In response, the government says it recognises the challenges the report highlights and that "it is clear they must do more".

Citing the need for more key workers, it acknowledged the island needs to attract "people who feel respected and valued for the work they do."

The review notes that many care providers have "insufficient numbers of experienced staff" and services can be cancelled at short notice.

This leads to staff often working in "firefighting mode", meaning their ability to provide a high standard of care is compromised.

The Care Commission recommends that the government support small businesses, such as care providers, to better cope with inflation and rising costs.

It writes that "without positive intervention, the current and worsening situation means that the Commission cannot discount the real possibility of a future care system failure".

The care sector in Jersey is not resilient, it says, and warns that if a care provider closes, the industry "does not have capacity to pick up the shortfall".

The Jersey Care Federation (JCF) has welcomed the Care Commission's report, saying that they have been "raising all of these issues for the last three years."

It is calling an accommodation strategy and direct financial support for overseas recruitment.

The group also says foreign medical staff should not have to wait six months to receive a health card for the island.

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