Nursing Opinion

2020 – The outlook is positive

Fiona Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Prestige Nursing + Care

The care sector is a hugely important industry, with more and more people relying on the care industry every year as the UK population ages. Last year, Age UK predicted that, by 2040, the number of older people in need of care and support, whether publicly or privately funded, will increase to 1.2 million. This is an ominous trend, given the UK is in the midst of what has been called ‘a care crisis’.

An ageing population means that more people are requiring care, yet there is a recruitment shortfall which is only set to widen in the next decade across all forms of care. For example, earlier this year three thinktanks concluded that, based on current trends, NHS staff shortages will rise to nearly 70,000 nurses and more than 7,000 GPs within five years. With recent statistics suggesting the UK population will grow by 10million in the next two decades, further pressure will undoubtedly be placed on the medical and care professions.

Furthermore, the continued political and economic uncertainty, largely around Brexit, has meant that time that should have been devoted to helping to tackle the care crisis was diverted to trying to solve the Brexit conundrum. As a result, much needed investment, both in terms of money and resources, has been stunted.

Opportunities

However, despite these very clear challenges, there is much to be encouraged about and, looking at 2020, we at Prestige Nursing + Care see much to be excited by. With a strong Conservative hold in Parliament, and a budget date set for March looming, we should expect to see concrete proposals from to the Chancellor to tackle the care crisis, with the possibility of cross-party consensus to tackle the issue head on.

Politicians coming together to help the industry with support is of paramount importance, as well as a concrete pledge to support and grow the care industry. This needs to include budget details, but also plans to help those requiring care – and administering it.

As well as plans from politicians, technological innovation should support our care teams to continuously improve our efficiencies and the level of care we can provide for our client’s. We expect the pace to of technological developments in the next 12-24 months to increase and we’re really excited about some of the proposals emerging.

Another huge benefit for the care industry has been scientific breakthroughs. Instances of dementia and other complex conditions are becoming easier to diagnose – and at an earlier stage. This gives us hope that we may be able to help stem the tide. At Prestige Nursing + Care we work closely with Dementia UK and we have our own Admiral Nurse, Sue Jones, who ensures that our care teams are kept up to date with best practice and developments in dementia care.

Something else that we’re really excited about, is a keenness from school and University leavers to consider a career in care. An October 2019 poll by the Department of Health and Social Care found that over half of people aged 18-34 were open to switching jobs to start a career in adult social care. This is a hugely positive trend and shows the high number of people wanting to help others. No two days are the same and at Prestige Nursing + Care, we’ll be continuing our recruitment drive to promote the benefits of a career in care.

Retain independence

At Prestige Nursing + Care our core focus is to help people retain their independence in their own home whilst receiving care and support. Whilst there are undoubtedly hurdles and challenges for the industry to overcome, there are also clear opportunities to look forward to in 2020. We’re really excited about the positive impact that we can continue to provide to those requiring care – and their friends and family.

 

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