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PA shortage causing hardship for Disabled people

13 July 2022

A new survey by TLAP (Think Local, Act Personal) and the Local Government Association has highlighted the difficulties many Disabled people face in hiring a Personal Assistant (PA) to help with daily living tasks.

Around 70,000 Disabled people employ a PA in the UK.

The survey results found that PA recruitment has got harder, both in terms of a shortage of applicants and their suitability for the work. Low pay, poor terms and conditions, and restrictions on what people can pay are the primary drivers for this, alongside the challenges of the Covid pandemic.

One respondent said about their PA: “I worry about them leaving, worry about paying them enough so they don’t leave, trying not to do anything that may get their back up, so they leave.”

77% of people who needed to recruit a PA had found it more difficult and two thirds said people were taking jobs with better pay rather than PA jobs. Another finding showed that 59% of those surveyed think it’s harder to find PAs with the right skills, values, or training, prompting Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman on the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board to say:  “It’s worrying to hear about the struggle that many who draw on care have recruiting and retaining personal assistants and it highlights the continued issue all areas of social care currently have with finding and keeping staff.”

The full survey findings can be read here.