OCCUPATIONS Nursing jobs have been named one of the most ‘recession-proof’ professions in the UK, according to research from recruiter Randstad Care.

Its analysis of ONS employment data stretching back to the beginning of the last decade found that only individuals working in the technology or social care sectors could claim themselves more immune from the impact of the economic downturn.

Between 2002 and 2014, the aggregate wage bill for nursing in the UK rose from £10.3bn to £12.7bn, an increase of 23%.

Part of this growth is due to a huge increase in the number of nurses according to ONS figures, from 308,403 in 2002 to 401,929 in 2014, a rise of 30%.

Victoria Short, MD of Randstad Care, comments: “Whereas some career choices are driven by a desire to


SAYS YCR Relatives and friends of care home residents across the UK have voiced their views on the quality of care via new research. Introduced by Your Care Rating, the survey is understood to be the largest and most comprehensive of its kind undertaken to date.

Over 16,500 people were invited to take part in an initial pilot survey conducted by market research organisation Ipsos MORI late last year. The Your Care Rating relatives’ survey complements the annual residents’ survey, the largest amongst care home residents in the UK.

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make money, nursing is a more selfless profession where the primary motivator is to achieve a sense of fulfilment through helping others. Previous research undertaken by Randstad suggests that job security is more important than remuneration to people working in healthcare and these statistics would suggest that nursing is a solid selection for individuals concerned about their long-term prospects. With two of the top three most recession- proof occupations coming from the healthcare sector, it goes to show that it’s not just a rewarding profession to be in, but a relatively secure one too.

“It’s no secret that the NHS is

faced with huge vacancy rates in nursing and already fills a significant proportion of roles from overseas, so there are plenty of opportunities for UK workers who want to pursue a career in the profession. With an ageing population placing ever greater strain on the nation’s healthcare resources, nursing is likely to remain relatively unaffected by economic volatility for the foreseeable future and

The Your Care Rating relatives’ survey has been piloted in response to demand from the care provider sector for an independent measure of relatives’ satisfaction, with 14 companies, including some of the largest in the UK, taking part.

By capturing relatives’ perspectives on the quality of care and resident experience, the survey has been designed with the aim of strengthening the insight that YCR can provide, in a bid to create a more rounded picture of care home performance.

The survey includes questions about care and support, the physical environment and facilities, the atmosphere and social life within the homes and the quality of staff and management, as well as relatives’ overall satisfaction with the standard of the home.

public and private sector employers alike are going to need external assistance to help fill the huge volume of vacancies.”

While the aggregate wage bill increased in the nursing profession between 2002 and 2014, Randstad found that real wages for workers actually fell over the same timeframe, as they did in the majority of sectors.

The average real wage for nurses in 2002 (in 2014 terms) was £33,358, but by 2014 this had fallen to £31,559, representing a decrease of 5.4%. However, to give some perspective, this was a relatively shallow reduction compared to some occupations, with falls of up to 43% recorded in some trades.

Douglas Quinn, Chairman of Your Care Rating, says: “This has been the first year of surveying the thoughts of relatives and friends regarding care home provision. We have looked at a range of areas from the quality of the food, through the relatives’ perception of how happy their loved ones are, to the professionalism of the staff.

“The relatives’ survey very much complements our successful residents’ survey and, going forward, we believe it will help provide the most in-depth view of the country’s care home sector from those closest to it.”

A pilot survey this year, in future years the detailed results from individual care homes will be available in full on the Your Care Rating and Ipsos MORI websites.

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