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Leadership Review Needs Care Reform Too Says Care Providers

A major shake-up of leadership in health and social care is worthless without a better deal for social care, providers said today.

The Government has announced it will accept the recommendations of a new, independent review into leadership within health and social care.

The social care provider organisation, the Independent Care Group (ICG) gave a guarded welcome to the news.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said:
“As a provider organisation we fully support any moves to strengthen leadership within health and social care, particularly when it is targeted at driving up standards, improving training and achieving consistency.

“However, we cannot help but feel the real priority at the moment should include getting greater support and funding to social care delivery, including registered managers, and better rewarding them and front-line care staff.

“Battered and bruised after Covid-19 and struggling financially, care and nursing homes are closing and domiciliary care providers struggling and going out of business.

“Whilst leadership is vital, what we need to see is investment targeted at the workforce, which is going through its worst recruitment crisis in more than 30 years. We need to better recognise, respect and reward the workforce first by properly funding a minimum wage and a career structure for staff.

“We urgently need to see social care’s share of the Health and Social Care Levy reaching the front line to help with staff recruitment and social care delivery where it is needed.

“At the moment, the bulk of that £36bn fund is set to go to the NHS first – but we are calling for social care to get an equal share quickly – otherwise, care providers are going to go out of business and that will leave hundreds of thousands of people without the care they need.”

The ICG wants to see:
• A root and branch overhaul of the way social care is planned and funded
• NHS care and social care merged and managed locally or nationally
• Extra funding for social care, funded by taxation
• Dementia treated and funded like other high priority illnesses
• A fixed percentage of GDP to be spent on social care
• Proper pay, conditions and career structure for carers
• Social care businesses to be zero-rated for VAT.