Posted by Tim Godfrey on May 15, 2018
A credible long-term strategy is urgently needed this year to fund the care sector and to retain and motivate care workers, an influential group of MPs has warned.
The sector is suffering from underfunding, rising wage costs and no real plan for the future, with Brexit adding to the uncertainty.
A Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report also warns that action is needed to improve the public image of care work in order to boost recruitment and motivate staff.
The report states that adult social care is underfunded, with the care workforce suffering from low pay, low esteem and high turnover of staff.
The government has yet to make clear how it is going to provide the care sector with sustainable funding to meet increasing demand for care.
A key issue highlighted in the report is that the Department of Health and Social Care has no clear idea how local authorities commission care and the prices they pay providers. Yet, the report reveals, that two-thirds of care providers’ income comes from local authorities.
Brexit is also raised as a concern in terms of the effect it will have on the care sector’s ability to recruit non-UK workers.
The MPs also call for more publicity and public recognition of how social care can transform people’s lives for the better, how many people working in care find it very rewarding, and that more than 80% of care services are rated good or excellent by the Care Quality Commission. Instead, care services are usually only in the public eye if something has gone wrong.
The promised green paper from the government on the future of social care should be out in the summer, but the PAC warns that this should not be seen as a “cure all”.
MPs are concerned that the government will underestimate the scale of the challenge.
Bishop Fleming’s Healthcare Team are working with care providers to help them manage their businesses. Please contact a member of the team if you would like to see how they can help.