More action is needed to reform social care and support staff

09 August 2022

Commenting on the Department of Health and Social Care's announcement, on the detail of the allocation of the £500m to support social care workforce training, the interim deputy chief executive and director of policy and strategy of NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

"National support to enable social care staff to develop their careers through training and development opportunities, is one important factor in helping to attract and retain staff in essential caring roles.

"But the detail of this funding comes at a time when the social care sector is facing significant recruitment and retention issues, with over 160,000 vacancies. The most recent Skills for Care report showed that the number of filled posts in adult social care is down for the first time on record.

"A lack of clear pathways for career progression and staff burnout have been cited as two major contributors to why adult social care providers struggle to retain staff. This sits alongside a clear need for better pay.

"Health and care leaders welcomed the £500m support package when it was originally announced in September 2021. But more action is needed by government in the short and longer term to place our social care system on a sustainable footing.

"Historical underinvestment in social care and its staff has a serious knock-on impact on the NHS, making it more difficult for people to remain independent at home if they cannot access support, and often exacerbating delayed discharges from hospital which are a pressing problem."