ANGRY care providers have accused Government ministers of failing to grasp the crisis facing the care of the country’s oldest and most vulnerable.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) said Care Minister Gillian Keegan and Migration Minister Kevin Foster should spend time on the frontline of care before making ‘ill-judged’ remarks.
Providers want the Government to allow them to recruit staff from overseas again, as other sectors now can, to ease a growing staffing crisis.
But Mr Foster told the BBC, “businesses need to make long-term investments in the UK domestic workforce, including offering hardworking care workers the rewarding packages they deserve.”And Mrs Keegan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that there was always about 100,000 vacancies in social care, because of the growing demand for care.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “These comments show a total lack of understanding and disregard for social care providers.
“Mr Foster clearly does not see that care providers would love to reward their staff better but, thanks to his Government, are instead facing a fight for survival.
“And Mrs Keegan suggests that 100,000 vacancies in the sector is due to increasing demand rather than a lack of funding within care to help us fill them.
“Social care has been chronically under-funded for a generation and the rigours of Covid-19 has left it on its knees, struggling to provide care for our oldest and most vulnerable in care and nursing homes and in their own homes.
“Financial cutback after financial cutback has left the provision of care in tatters, with £6bn cut since 2010, 1.5m people living without the care they need and closer to 120,000 staff vacancies.
“The Government, and previous governments before this one, have failed social care time and time again, showing the same failure to grasp the simple equation that if you don’t fund social care properly it will fail.
“Instead of supporting the sector, the Government has robbed social care of the ability to recruit staff from overseas, post Brexit, to bail out the sector as it struggles with its worst-ever staffing shortages.
“And by imposing the ‘no jab, no job’ policy, it has added up to 60,000 more staff vacancies to the 120,000 that already existed.
“I would urge Government ministers to spend some time on the frontline of care delivery before making any further ill-judged and unhelpful remarks.”