UK, December 2021: Over 400,000 clients are waiting for their care assessment or for their care package to be implemented, according to the BBC’s Radio 4 news hour. Across Europe and the wider world, the care sector struggles to balance the needs of it’s clients and workforce against a highly fragmented sector, diminutive working budgets, attrition rates that average 28%, and perceptions that care work is not a career of choice but that of last resort. And yet our research shows us that care workers, managers, commissioners and sector bodies are more than aware of the issues faced within the sector, and are desperate to bring about the change it so urgently needs. Care is in crisis, but it need not be this way.
The LAPIS project is being undertaken by a group of researchers and sector experts from six countries in the UK and Europe. This three year project is looking at the barriers to innovation and work based learning within the sector, and identifying and developing practical ways to overcome these. After holding participative workshops and one to one in-depth interviews during 2021, with selected senior managers and commissioners across the UK, Poland, Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria, we have devised our first set of recommendations at policy and practice level, incorporating knowledge gained from over 40 case studies.
The recommendations are pitched to government bodies at all levels from EU, National, regional and local. Also commissioning and inspectorate/sector bodies, and Care Organisations themselves. This three tiered approach will ensure that our findings reach across different stakeholders within the sector to tie together a cohesive set of actions and support.
Our findings uncovered many themes, but the most predominant are addressed in our recommendations prioritising approaches, support mechanisms, and practice change that will hopefully help tackle some of the other issues we identified by proxy, and offer “healing at the core” so to speak. This requires a culture change at the highest level, and our recommendations are headed to the UK Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee enquiry in January 2022, with an intention to reach the European Parliament thereafter.
For further information about our work, or to take part in the LAPIS project please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org