“This timely report from Cavendish Coalition members Skills for Care shows how deeply we rely on committed and hardworking colleagues from across Europe and beyond to provide excellent care in our communities.
“With 110,000 vacancies and the possibility of needing another 650,000 care staff by 2035 to care for our elders, we will doubtless need to continue to rely on colleagues from overseas. The report acknowledges that while we still await clarity about post-Brexit migration rules, there is still a risk in terms of workforce supply.
“It would be completely unacceptable to allow vital social care services to close under the strain of not having the people required to provide good care. The migration related risk to the provision for social care is the biggest workforce risk of Brexit across social care and health, so we were very concerned the Migration Advisory Committee report did not clearly advocate less-skilled workers schemes for any other sectors except agriculture.”
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“The lingering crisis facing social care is one of the biggest and most neglected challenges of our generation. Today’s report reveals a service that is failing to cope now and faces meltdown in future unless urgent action is taken to deal with the twin challenges of funding and workforce. Social care is the scandal that has not dared speak its name, but we have to expose it now before it deteriorates still further.
“The government has promised an NHS plan for England but that cannot work without an accompanying social care plan which recognises the independence of the two sectors and tackles both funding and workforce.
“Unless we act now, more social care services will close because they do not have the staff – that means abandoning some of our most vulnerable citizens.
“We need a sustainable funding settlement to improve pay and conditions which will make this a more attractive sector in which to work. The Prime Minister has promised to correct the mistakes of previous governments by putting an end to ‘siloed’ working and to integrate health and social care. A great ambition – but we now need to see it realised.”