Personal Care Pediatrics in the UK is booming but not the right size, a study has found.
Key points:The UK was ranked the fifth best place in the world for personal care pedicsThe study found that the number of people in care was declining, not increasingThe study was conducted by the British Association of Personal Care Paediatrics and showed that there were just over 17,000 paediatricians in Britain in 2016The report found that while there was growth in the number and number of personal care nurses, the number who were also registered nurses had fallen by 30% from 2014 to 2016.
The number of registered nurses fell from 8.5 million in 2014 to 7.6 million in 2016.
“We found that for some patients the demand for personalised care was growing, and for others it was decreasing,” Dr Richard O’Connor, a consultant paediatrician and lead author of the study, told the BBC.
“The NHS is a service that has to be adapted to accommodate a range of needs and we can’t always get what we need.”
Dr O’Connor said that while personal care was still seen as the first line of defence, it was becoming increasingly important for people to have access to specialist care.
“I think it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the care that people are looking for is in the context of their specific needs, whether that’s acute care, emergency care, general healthcare, or for other conditions that are not well-known, so we need to make sure that that’s where the priority is,” he said.’
Unable to find enough’As the number has grown, so too has the number that is currently in care, according to Dr O’ Connor.
“If we look at the proportion of adults that are in care as opposed to adults aged over 65, it’s now at 60% of those aged over 60 and this is a very significant increase, and I think that this is very concerning.”
The study, carried out by the BAPPC, also found that many of the staff that were currently working in care were not being replaced.
“There is a lack of staff on the payroll at the moment and this has been very disappointing,” Dr O,Connor said.
“Some staff have been laid off or transferred from other areas.”
That’s where we are at and we have not had enough staff trained, we are not having enough capacity to cope with the growth in demand for care, and the lack of the training is a serious issue.
“Dr Chris Walker, chief executive of the National Paediatric Society, said the growth was “not sustainable”.”
We’re now seeing the growth of this, which is a real challenge for the NHS,” he told the broadcaster.”
At the moment the UK has a population of around 1.6 billion and we need people to take the next step, and that is to put people in personal care so we can provide them with the best care possible.”‘
So the challenge is, when we start to see a lot more of that, what we’re seeing is a lot less training and a lot fewer people who can work in a community setting.””
There are a lot of people who are in clinical training and we see that over time and as they continue to progress, so that’s a really important thing for them to have,” he added.
“So the challenge is, when we start to see a lot more of that, what we’re seeing is a lot less training and a lot fewer people who can work in a community setting.”
Dr Walker added that the NHS had a role to play in making sure that care was affordable.
“It is a difficult and challenging job, but it is also a huge responsibility for the government and for the health service, which we can do a lot to help with,” he explained.
“When we see a large number of the population in care is not being able to afford private health insurance, and we’re starting to see that in some places it’s even lower, we have a responsibility to make that affordable.”
Dr Mark Porter, a paediatric endocrinologist at Birmingham University’s Institute of Psychiatry, Health & Psychosocial Medicine, said that many staff would not feel comfortable leaving the NHS and would have to move on.
“What’s important is that people have the opportunity to move onto a new job that is available to them and is suitable for them,” he continued.
“As they do that they will need to be able to work for an organisation that has a greater ability to provide that care.”
Dr Porter also noted that staff would need to adapt to new jobs.
“They will need the skills to be successful in that role, and to be competent in the workplace and to adapt in order to make it work,” he advised.
“In addition, there will be some changes that have to happen to the workforce, for example in terms of a wider range of roles that may need to move to other parts of the UK.”