A recruitment drive to encourage more people in Oxfordshire to consider a career as a care worker has attracted more applicants in just five months as in the previous two years.
The campaign – ‘Make a difference every day’ – features a number of real life care workers, already supporting people across the county, talking about the rewards of the job and why they would recommend the job to others.
Figures show the Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers (OACP) website received 84 applications for a variety of care work roles between mid-November 2017 and the end of March 2018, compared with 66 applications in the two years between November 2015 and October 2017.
107 new job seekers registered on the site between November 2017 and the end of March 2018, compared with 101 from October 2015 and October 2017. And around 130,000 people have looked at recruitment adverts on Facebook since the ‘Make a difference every day’ campaign launched.
Oxfordshire currently has around 14,200 people working in adult social care. But the county’s ageing population is growing at twice the average, so there is an urgent need for more caring, friendly and reliable care workers to support older, frail people in their own homes, in nursing and residential homes or in community hospital settings.
According the latest workforce survey by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) and Oxford Health Foundation Trust (OHFT), nine out of 10 care workers say they are proud of the work they do and more than 95 per cent of care workers say they make a positive difference to other people; while more than 80 per cent of care workers surveyed would recommend their jobs to others.
Kate Terroni, Director for Adult Services at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Care work is a fantastic career that allows you to make a real difference to people’s lives every day. It’s flexible enough to fit around family or other commitments and there are opportunities all over the county, in both the NHS and homecare companies. I’m really pleased that there has been a significant increase in applications and would encourage anyone else who is interested to apply on the OACP website.”
Care workers help people with personal care like washing and dressing. They also prepare food, feed people and give out medication. Some care work involves carrying out more general tasks like housework, laundry and shopping. Care workers may also help people manage their money, pay bills and write letters, or support families to get used to new caring responsibilities.
The ‘Make a difference every day’ campaign was jointly run and funded by OCC, OHFT, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) in partnership with OACP. The county’s residents have also seen advertising on buses and billboards, on local radio and at face to face events such as careers fairs.
Sharon Chandler, 44, is a health care assistant for Oxford Health Foundation Trust, based two days a week at Wallingford Community Hospital. Sharon has been working on the hospital’s rehabilitation ward since 2013 supporting people who need to regain mobility following a stroke or a fall. Sharon has branched out in recent months working alongside district nurses at Townlands Memorial Hospital on occasions. Her job is to visit patients in their homes assisting nurses with wound dressings and taking blood.
Anyone interested in applying for care work vacancies in Oxfordshire will be encouraged to visit the OACP website (https://oacp.org.uk/jobs) which hosts a range of vacancies, both in the NHS and with private care companies.