Social care can ill afford further limitations on recruitment from abroad Health Foundation response to Migration Advisory Committee's report on a future immigration system

28 January 2020

Responding to the report, Ben Gershlick, Senior Economist at the Health Foundation, said:

‘Today’s report recognises the need to improve working conditions in adult social care but concludes that increased pressure on the fragile sector will be unavoidable under a more restrictive migration system. Around 17% of staff in England are non-British nationals, but few earn more than the proposed £25,600 threshold. With around 122,000 vacancies and high turnover rates, it's clear that the sector can ill afford further limitations on recruitment from abroad.

‘While social care remains underfunded and undervalued, attracting and retaining sufficient staff from either the UK or abroad is near impossible. On current plans, funding for social care will not keep up with demand over this parliament which means there is likely to be little progress on either pay or conditions for staff. The government should also consider the impact an increase in the use of temporary visas will have on incentive for providers and workers to invest in skills in the sector.

‘The report rightly highlights that the immigration system alone can’t solve these issues, but without a sector-specific immigration route for adult social care, they will worsen. As well as additional funding, the adult social care system desperately needs reform to address the underlying causes of staff shortages, both to improve the quality of care now, and to not act as a brake on the government’s ambitions going forwards.’

Media contact

Simon Perry

Simon.Perry@health.org.uk

020 7257 2093

Further reading

Long read

Health and social care funding

About 10 mins to read

We explore the level of funding that the next government will need to commit to in order to maintain...

Research report

Falling short: the NHS workforce challenge

November 2019

Our fourth annual report analysing the staff profile and trends in the NHS workforce in England in...

You might also like...

Blog

Supporting staff wellbeing during COVID-19: a Northumbrian experience

Annie Laverty, Chief Experience Officer at Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust, offers her reflections...

Chart

COVID-19 policy tracker

A timeline to 20 July 2020 of national policy and health system responses to COVID-19 in England.

Press release

NHS People Plan provides a stop-gap but leaves glaring omissions

Health Foundation response to the NHS People Plan 2020/21.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Over 700,000 patients served by GPs at high risk of COVID-19 could be left without access to face to face GP appoin… https://t.co/wZJJPCuRCn

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more