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New study reveals six major risks faced by the UK care sector

In-depth analysis reveals pressing issues and actionable insights for brokers operating in the UK care sector

Author: Markel UK

We have published our latest insight report titled "The Care Sector: Navigating turbulent times." The report—endorsed by Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum—identifies six significant issues affecting the entire social care industry, raising concerns about its future viability. 

Taking insight from 12 qualitative interviews with care leaders and 200 quantitative survey questions, the report sheds light on the ongoing workforce and funding challenges in the UK's social care sector, exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further challenges are the difficulty in recruiting and retaining social care staff, caused by post-covid burnout, undervaluation of the work, low wages, and the perception of social care as a job rather than a career.

Charlotte Rowe, Care Practice Manager at Markel Care Practitioners says: “The care sector is vital to society in the UK and how we care for our vulnerable people. The demand for care services continues to grow, placing significant pressure on providers, and studies like this really help the sector and those servicing it to understand the core challenges at play. The insurance sector has a responsibility to step up and do whatever it can to help the industry address these problems.”

The report presents strategies to address both short-term and long-term structural issues in the social care sector. These include offering a better benefits package to retain staff, establishing a nationally approved social care qualification to enhance the sector's perception, and leveraging technology to address cost rises and improve communication and service provision.

Whilst 49% of respondents believed that technology has significant potential to help address cost rises for staff and providers, barriers such as perceptions around older people's technology use, commissioners' expertise, and the workforce's reluctance to adapt need to be overcome. Despite this, the importance of investing in technology and integrating with the NHS for financial sustainability cannot be underestimated.

Neil Galjaard, Markel’s divisional managing director – UK concluded, “Markel is committed to the long-term success of the care sector. By delivering specialist insurance cover and associated risk mitigation services, as well as initiatives such as the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards and the Care Insights Report, we are able to support the sector and provide a platform that highlight its key issues and exceptional work”. 

A full copy of ‘The Care Sector: Navigating turbulent times’ is available here.