How financial cutbacks affect the quality of jobs and care for the elderly

Diane Burns, Paula Hyde, Anne Killett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
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Based on case studies in 12 nursing homes in the UK, the authors illustrate how financial cutbacks affect job quality and quality of care. The dimensions of job quality that suffered most were those directly related to the ability of workers to provide care – reductions in staffing, longer working hours and work intensification. Cuts to labor costs eroded the quality of workers’ jobs in all 12 homes but with two differential outcomes – in seven homes care quality was maintained and in five homes it deteriorated. Care quality was maintained in homes where a patient-centered care approach and remaining job quality allowed workers to develop workarounds to protect residents from spillover effects. Care quality declined in homes where custodial approaches to care and low job quality did not provide workers the time or resources to protect residents or maintain prior levels of care. A tipping point was reached leading to a spillover into impoverished care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1016
Number of pages16
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Issue number4
Early online date29 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • cost-cutting
  • job quality
  • care quality
  • nursing homes
  • person-centered care

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