Lack of funding undermining care workforce

The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that a lack of planning and funding has undermined the care sector to the extent that it can no longer fill key posts.

Its report, The adult social care workforce in England, claims that the Department of Health and Social Care is not doing enough to support a sustainable social care workforce as the number of people working in care is not meeting the country’s growing care demands.

There are around 1.34 million jobs in the adult social care sector in England, across more than 20,300 organisations, but the turnover rate of care staff has been increasing since 2012-13 and in 2016-17 reached 27.8 per cent. One in 11 nursing posts was vacant, after the numbers working in the sector fell by 8,000 to 43,000 in the past four years.

Furthermore, the vacancy rate in 2016-17 for jobs across social care was 6.6 per cent, much higher than the national average of 2.5 per cent. In terms of wages, approximately half of care workers were paid £7.50 per hour or below last year, which translates roughly to £14,625 annually.

The problem is exasperated by the figures which show that local authorities spent 5.3 per cent less on care in 2016-17 compared with 2010-11, with spending expected to reduce further over the next two years due to continued government funding cuts and increased financial pressures on local authorities.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “Social care cannot continue as a Cinderella service – without a valued and rewarded workforce, adult social care cannot fulfil its crucial role of supporting elderly and vulnerable people in society. Pressures and demands on the health and social care systems are increasing, so the Department needs to respond quickly to this challenge by giving the sector the attention it deserves and needs, instead of falling short and not delivering value for money.”

The government intends to publish a green paper on reforming care for older people by summer 2018.

Event Diary

It is no mystery that there is a huge task at hand to solve the growing problems of waste, inefficient resources, and the disposal of hazardous materials as our communities develop.

Safety & Health Expo is the UK’s largest event for the health and safety sector, helping 13,000+ global professionals source innovative solutions across occupational health, wellbeing, PPE and more.

Facilities Show brings together over 12,000 facilities management professionals from around the world to source cost-effective solutions across all sectors.