Official figures reveal challenges facing care sector

Denmark

The FOA and DSR trade unions have both published official data revealing the reality of overwork, understaffing and low pay in the health and social care sectors. FOA quotes from the latest survey by the Danish Working Environment Authority covering 30,000 workers. This shows that 23% of social and health care assistants say that they have often or constantly felt stressed within the past two weeks. Of all the industry groups, 'Residential Institutions and Home Care' is the sector where the largest proportion of employees feel stressed. The union says that understaffing, a high rate of sick leave and excessive use of temporary workers without the right skills become a vicious spiral are the main stress factors. Meanwhile, the DSR released figures from the Ministry of Education and Research showing that applications for the nurse training programme are 28% down on last year. The union says the figures are a disaster and will worsen the already critical shortages in the sector. The union says that urgent action is needed on pay and working conditions to make the profession more attractive to young workers.

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