Dundee has a higher rate of vacancies in the care sector than the national average – with nearly half of all city services short of “vital” staff.
All homes for adults in the city have vacancies, according to a report by the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).
The report, co-authored by the regulators of Scotland’s care services and care workers, stated that “recruitment and retention into some parts of the social care sector remains a challenge.”
In Dundee, 6.3% of full-time posts in the sector are vacant and 45% of the city’s care services reported having vacancies, above the national average of 38%.
Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: “We hear of stories where older people are forced to accept places in care homes that are hours away from their family and friends, which makes it much harder for them to maintain any form of social connectedness, and has a negative impact on their quality of life and health.
“It comes as no shock this report has found that the care sector in Dundee and Tayside is under enormous pressure, with problems recruiting and retaining staff.
“More must be done to encourage people to see social care as a fulfilling career, and this includes better pay packages.”
Lorraine Gray, chief executive of the SSSC, said: “It is vital that social care continues to attract staff with the right values, skills and experience.”
City employers say a lack of applicants – and a lack of experienced applicants in particular – is the most common issue they face. North East region Scottish Conservative MSP Bill Bowman thinks more has to be done to attract care workers. He added: “It is disappointing that there are so many good jobs open in Dundee when there should be no issue filling them.”
A Dundee City Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the SSSC’s latest figures and the potential effects on recruitment and service delivery.
“Locally providers have worked collaboratively to hold recruitment fairs which has supported the uptake of social care roles.
“Social care is challenging but rewarding, and we are always keen to encourage people to find out more about what it involves.”