Responding to the publication today (Wednesday) of Skills for Care data on the social care workforce, Hugh Alderwick, Director of Policy at the Health Foundation, said:
‘The Skills for Care data illustrate the large and chronic staff gaps in social care – a system scarred by decades of political neglect and underfunding, and where many people go without the care they need. The vacancy rate has fallen slightly to 152,000 compared with 164,000 last year, but is still high and close to the record levels seen over the last decade.
'International recruitment is vital to help fill staff gaps but must be ethical and sustainable, given global shortages in health and care workers, and is no replacement for the urgent action needed by government to improve pay and conditions for people working in social care. Care workers are among the lowest paid in society and experience shocking levels of poverty and deprivation. A national strategy is urgently needed to address these issues and support and grow the social care workforce over the long-term – like we now have for the NHS. This needs to be matched with broader policy change and investment to ensure people have access to good quality care and greater protection against social care costs.'
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