Responding to a Department of Health and Social Care announcement that social care staff will receive improved career options and training over the next three years, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said:
“Any investment in the social care workforce is welcome and in the context of a tight labour market, it’s critical those working in social care have opportunities to develop and expand their skills.
“However, this alone is not enough to tackle the scale of the challenge facing the social care sector which is losing staff to the retail and hospitality sectors among others every day. There are 165,000 vacancies across social care and social care providers simply don’t have the pay or benefits to recruit enough potential social care workers.
“80% of NHS leaders recently told us that a lack of adequate social care capacity is driving urgent care demand and 73% said it’s undermining efforts to tackle the elective backlog. The NHS and social care, and those needing care across the country, can’t afford to wait any longer for government to tackle the social care workforce crisis head-on as we move towards what will be an incredibly challenging winter.
“Our members are calling on the government to introduce and fund a national minimum care worker wage of at least £10.50 an hour to stem the flow of workers leaving the sector and to attract more people into the social care workforce.”