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Survey reveals public perception of social care

Members of the public with some experience of social care almost three times more likely to consider working in the sector than those with limited or no knowledge

The social care special interest group at the Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM) has carried out a survey of 225 people, split equally between those working in and outside of social care, to gauge current perceptions of the sector.

The Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM), the leading independent membership organisation for managers and leaders planning, delivering and supporting health and care, has published the results of its Social Care Perception Survey carried out amongst those who work in the sector, those with first-hand experience and those with limited or no knowledge.

The IHSCM survey, supported by Championing Social Care and TAP (Thank And Praise), was initiated by the members of the social care special interest group to understand the perception gap between those inside and outside the social care sector.

Key survey insights (March 2021):

  • 64% of all respondents would consider a career in social care, while those with first-hand experience (54%) are much more likely than those with limited or no knowledge (19%)
  • Most respondents believe that social care exists to support and care for the most vulnerable in our society, in particular the elderly
  • Respondents were most aware of Care Homes (97%) and Home Care (92%) and least aware of Extra Care Housing (54%), especially those with limited or no knowledge of social care
  • 75% of respondents said they were aware of NHS services in the care sector which suggests a level of misunderstanding between healthcare and social care services
  • Respondents cited the CQC or equivalent (86%) and word of mouth (74%) as the best ways to find out the quality of a care organisation, with the Media (23%) scoring the lowest
  • 86% of all respondents stated that care workers didn’t receive the recognition they deserved, rising to 90% from those working in social care

The findings of the survey are being shared to understand how to make the public more aware of social care services, including how to obtain reliable information, as well as highlighting the importance of social care to society and as a rewarding career choice.

“It’s revealing to see that those people who have had some first-hand experiences of social care are three times more likely to want to work in our sector. This is a positive finding and demonstrates a greater need to introduce social care as a career option to young people, graduates and those in careers with transferable skills,” said Jane Brightman, General Manager of Social Care at IHSCM.

“Care workers have been going above and beyond to deliver the best support that they can give, while making personal sacrifices. This survey highlights the need for better public awareness of our sector in order to break down any remaining barriers and ensure care workers get the recognition they truly deserve,” said Adam Purnell, Domiciliary and Quality Lead for Kepplegate and Chair of IHSCM’s Public Image of Social Care subgroup.

Notes to Editors:

About the Institute of Health and Social Care Management:

The Institute of Health and Social Care Management is an independent membership organisation for managers and leaders commissioning, delivering and supporting health and social care in the UK and across the world, supporting personal and professional development and driving change to improve health, care and well-being for all through quality management. www.ihm.org.uk

About Championing Social Care:            

Championing Social Care is a volunteer-led group of leaders from across the social care sector committed to shining a light on the incredible value of the social care to society and those who live and work within it. Hosted by the CareTech Foundation, Championing Social Care’s vision is to ensure a wider and deeper public understanding, appreciation and respect for social care.  www.championingsocialcare.org.uk

About TAP:

TAP (Thank And Praise) is a free-to-use social thanking platform which enables the public to show their appreciation to the unsung heroes working in social care, healthcare and education, while raising funds for good causes. www.thankandpraise.com

About Kepplegate:

Kepplegate Care Services, although only a small residential care home and domiciliary service based in Lancashire, has been a leading voice nationally throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, championing great practice and increasing the public awareness of social care through various high profile media outlets. Kepplegate works to promote and advocate for working partnerships between provider and those who use care and their relatives. www.kepplegate.co.uk

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