• 84% wouldn't trust a robot to deliver health or social care
  • Evidence suggests automation can help ease the burden for carers 
  • NHS investment into automation could save billions

    There is a growing trend of jobs, currently occupied by people, becoming either partially or fully automated in the future. Research by Price Waterhouse Cooper indicates that around 20% of all UK jobs will be automated in the next 10 years, which is equivalent to a staggering 6.5 million jobs. Unsurprisingly the public are skeptical about moving towards an automated job future, especially within the care sector, a new Randstad poll has revealed. 

    Cost efficiencies and increased productivity are a few of the reasons behind the shift, but within industries where human interaction and involvement are crucial, such as health and social care, will increased automation be a benefit? The Randstad ‘robots and carers’ campaign looks to investigate how automation and robotics will affect the care industry.

    Results from a recent poll of over 2,500* carried out by the world’s leading recruiter seem to support the notion that people aren’t comfortable with the introduction of automation - 84% admitted they wouldn’t trust a robot to help provide health or social care. 

    There is still work to be done to convince the majority of the general public that robots in care could be beneficial, but work has already begun. The apparent negativity may be caused by previous attempts at creating care-bots, robots specifically designed to offer care to the old, young or vulnerable members of society. Previous attempts were clunky, dehumanised and offered little interaction, but with advancements in technology, AI and machine learning we now have robots such as Stevie

    Victoria Short, Managing Director of Randstad Public Services, has stated that: "Many may feel uneasy about the introduction of robots into care; in fact our poll suggests exactly that. It is however important to remember that the nation has a duty of care when it comes to its own care workforce. Whilst our carers find their job rewarding, they're also feeling the burden of the workload during a skills shortage.
    Poole hospital is a great example of how robotics can assist with care, which may help close the disconnect between a potential solution and public perception. By completing menial tasks, the robot allows nurses to spend more time on delivering vital care. It's a delicate balance but it can be achieved. 
    Robots can take the strain off care workers, but let's be clear that it should never take the jobs that require the irreplaceable human interaction and touch. The human connection is the most important and powerful part, but with the aid of technology we can become more efficient in reaching our full potential, and in this case, a better focus on care for all.” 

    Research by the IPPR progressive policy think tank shows that investment in care-bots such as Stevie and increased job automation could help the NHS free up workers time, particularly on the frontline, worth the equivalent of 12.5 billion a year.

    This research and others indicate that carer’s should not see technology and job automation as a means to replace them, but instead care-bots will help by performing some of the mundane tasks that carers do allowing them to focus on what’s important - providing the best possible one-to-one care. 

    Randstad’s educational video on how robots, AI and technology are supporting carers can be seen here:

    Notes to editors

    *Poll carried out on randstad.co.uk ‘would you trust a robot to help provide health or social care?’

    No: 2114 votes (84%)
    Yes: 406 votes (16%)

    About Randstad

    Randstad is the global leader in HR services and specialised in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources services. We support people and organisations in realising their true potential. We do this by combining the power of today’s technology with our passion for people. We call it Human Forward. Our services range from regular temporary Staffing and permanent placements to Inhouse Services, Professionals, and HR Solutions, including Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Managed Services Programs, and outplacement. Randstad is active in 39 countries around the world and has top-three positions in more than half of these. At year-end 2017, Randstad had 38,331 corporate employees and 4,858 branches and Inhouse locations. In 2017, Randstad generated revenue of € 23.3 billion and holds the world’s number one position in its industry since November 2018. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad N.V. is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded. For more information, see https://www.randstad.com/.

    Press Contacts
    Rebecca Carey, outreach manager
    Marc Heley, communications and content manager
    01582 817 525, marc.heley@randstad.co.uk