Radical shake up of broken social care system urged

The APPG on Social Care has demanded a radical shake-up of England’s ‘broken’ social care system to avoid its total collapse.

The group of MPs have called for proper training and qualifications for ‘under-valued, exploited and degraded’ care workers, suggesting that a new ‘National Care Service’ should be set up with which all care workers would have to register, with staff treated as similarly as the those within the NHS.

The new report highlights examples of how some home helps were expected to start work with next to no training, and how many of them are effectively paid less than the minimum wage because they have to fund their own travel between clients’ houses.

Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Developing a fully-fledged professional social care workforce is something which councils encourage and this must be recognised as a major long-term project. Social care work should be seen as valuable and rewarding in its own right and achieving parity of esteem between the NHS and social care workforces is important.

“Significantly greater investment in social care workforce development is also needed and the Spending Round is an opportunity to provide financial certainty to councils in their role as commissioners, working in partnership with providers. Councils also need urgent confirmation that all current funding streams, including one-off funding, will continue into next year to help meet the more than £1 billion of the £2.6 billion of inflationary and demand pressures on councils which relates to social care, in addition to existing pressures.”