A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has highlighted that the Department of Health and Social Care is not doing enough to support the recruitment, retention and development of a sustainable social care workforce.
The report looked at Age UK analysis which estimated 12 million people over the age of 65 had some level of unmet care needs in 2016/17.
Whilst the demand for adult social care continues to grows, the report highlights that there is a growing national average vacancy rate and staff turnover rate. As such, staff shortages have become commonplace, which results in an increase in people with unmet needs.
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In England there are 1.34 million adult social care jobs. Half of which were paid £7.50 an hour last year (the national minimum wage). As such, the NAO said that care professionals feel undervalued and there is little opportunity for career progression.
Simon Bottery, senior fellow for social care at The King’s Fund, said the Government “can’t put it off any longer”, highlighting that the social care system is at the point of crisis with a with £2.5bn funding gap. He said: “Unless we resolve the long term problem, reform the whole system, and make it fairer and clearer for people to understand, this system will just lurch from crisis to crisis.”
The NAO has recommended a national workforce strategy be produced and investment made to enable providers to pay staff adequately and to offer career development and training opportunities.
Source: Sky News[/vc_column_text]