A new report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has found that the Department of Health and Social Care is not doing enough to support a sustainable adult social care workforce in England.

Responding to the report, Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at The Health Foundation, said:

‘There is a growing consensus that there is an urgent need for comprehensive and nationally led workforce planning for health and care services.

‘If providers are putting all their efforts into day to day financial survival, they are less able to plan and invest in the future, and forced to rely on short-term measures.

‘Too many people working in social care do not feel valued for the important work they are doing. National promises to improve training and career development must be followed through with action. This is all the more important in a sector where financial constraints make pay increases extremely challenging.  

‘Social care faces many of the same workforce challenges that have been well publicised in the health service, but with a greater reliance on low-paid staff who are not professionally registered it can be even more challenging to plan, attract and retain a sustainable workforce.

‘These challenges do not just have financial consequences – they impact on the quality of care that thousands of people receive. It is time that the vital importance of the people working in social care is recognised with a nationally led workforce strategy.’ 

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Jack Cutforth
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