The UK’s biggest union warned that vulnerable care home residents have to sleep on urine-soaked beds for long periods of time because there is a severe shortage in staff.

UNISON reported that they have received numerous complaints from their members about the treatment and hygiene of elderly residents.

Residents were complaining of missing baths and being rushed during meal times. In some cases, they even died without anyone holding their hand.  

UNISON reported that similar incidents had been made across the UK. It warned family members about a ‘nightmare scenario’ where their loved ones don’t receive proper care. 

Although it is unclear how many homes in the UK are currently facing crisis, unions warn that staff shortages will force hundreds of houses to close. 

The pandemic has already left 100,000 unfilled positions in care homes, which have been in constant crisis for some time.

But the Government was this month accused of triggering chaos by requiring all employees to get vaccinated against Covid — forcing up to 60,000 people out of work. 

UNISON published today a survey that found two-thirds (63%) of respondents were thinking of quitting the workforce due to low pay and burnout.

Care home residents are being left in urine-soaked sheets and with no one's hand to hold in their final hours because of staffing shortages (stock image)

Staff shortages have led to care home residents being left with urine-soaked sheets, no one holding their hand in the final hours of life (stock photo).

Above are the latest figures for the proportion of care home staff that have got a first and second dose of the vaccine. The Government was accused of exacerbating the staffind crisis in the sector by making jabs compulsory

The latest data on care home staff who received the first or second doses of vaccine are shown below. Jabs were mandatory for the government, which is accused of increasing the crisis within the care home sector.

Pat (not her real name) said that staff do ‘everything possible’, but not enough to provide the proper level of care.

According to the 21-year old, changing the clothing of someone who has soiled their bed is often the best option. 

‘There’s also barely time to wash residents’ hair so it doesn’t get done as often as it should. 

According to a union survey, two-thirds (63%) of the care workers are interested in other work. 

According to the largest union in Britain, two thirds of caregivers are seeking other work.

UNISON surveyed around 1,600 care workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland for a quick snapshot of the sector.

However, 67% said that they had considered quitting their jobs.

These key factors were stress, burn-out (33%) and better pay elsewhere (29%) and compulsoy (14%)

The survey found that 47% (half) of the respondents said their staffing levels at homes was too low. Residents are in serious danger.

Christina McAnea (UNISON General Secretary) said that families faced a nightmare’.

She stated that the care sector was in desperate need of workers, and she could not wait for months to see if there is a way out.

“Ministers are encouraged to give care workers early Christmas cheer and announce a pay increase across the board.

“This would encourage people on the brink of quitting to remain and motivate more to consider working in social services. 

“I had to make a decision recently between holding the dying person’s hand until they arrived at their families or cleaning them up.

Suzanne, a 40-year old care worker, also did not identify herself as her coworker and cautioned that the staffing levels now are ‘dangerously low.

She said: ‘We often look after more residents than we should so can’t provide quality basic care. 

‘I’ve had to leave residents in tears because I had to care for someone else who also needed me. 

“Related to vaccinations, a few coworkers were lost and half of our workforce are sick from stress or sickness. 

‘I took a pay cut to get into care — I love the job, but it’s taking its toll on me.’

Another worker added: ‘People aren’t getting regular baths or showers, just a wash. There’s no time to do the job properly. 

“Some people don’t get dressed by 2pm and assist feeding is done in a hurry. 

‘Staff are exhausted, angry and upset because they know they just don’t have the time to do everything as they should.’

Others have shared their frustration with the ‘insufficient staff’ on shifts, which has led to some residents going to sleep early in order to make room for others. 

The unions warned that thousands of families would find themselves in crisis due to the new ‘no jab no job’ policy. Many would need to shut down.

It could prove to be the last nail in their coffin for some employees before they are allowed out of retail or supermarket work.

Today’s UNISON survey asked 1,600 people in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to provide their views on the sector.

According to the survey, 47% believe that staff shortages have a negative influence on the sector.

31% of respondents said staffing levels are dangerously low, which is having a detrimental impact on care.

Comparatively, 20% said that there was some shortage but their workplace was managed.

Of the two thirds who said they would leave the sector, the main driver was burn-out  and stress (30 per cent), followed by poor pay (29 per cent) and compulsory vaccination (14 per cent).

Christina McAnea (UNISON General Secretary) stated that the majority of care workers had left the sector ‘in large numbers’ due to exhaustion from having to cover understaffed shifts, and because low wages were too much for them.

She said: ‘The care sector is desperately short of workers and can’t wait months for the government to come up with a solution.

Ministers need to spread holiday cheer among all caregivers and announce a general pay raise. 

“This would encourage people on the brink of quitting to remain and motivate more to consider working in social services.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health stated that everyone deserves compassionate and high-quality care. We are thankful for the hard work and dedication of the social workers throughout this pandemic.

‘Care homes and home care providers are now benefiting from the new £162.5 million workforce retention and recruitment fund to help ease staffing pressures.

‘In addition, the government will invest at least £500 million to develop and support the care workforce as part of our £5.4 billion to reform social care.’