A multinational care forum has called for a professional register for careworkers in England, in line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The panel of care leaders says registration of careworkers needs to be adequately funded and carefully implemented.
The Five Nations Care Forum, which comprises leaders of care associations in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has made three other recommendations, following a recent meeting:
- Funding to allow far pay for careworkers, at least on a par with equivalent public sector roles
- Support development of an expert-led workforce strategy for social care and a 10-year workforce plan, aligned with the NHS People Plan in the UK.
- Recognise current national needs and regional variation in demography and workforce and explore placing social care on the Shortage Occupation List.
The committee notes recent developments in care worker pay:
- Careworker bonuses of £500 or more in recognition of outstanding commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland and Wales
- Scottish careworkers’ pay rises from 5 October 2021 to £10.02 per hour, equivalent to Band 2 healthcare assistants in the NHS
- A recommendation by the Low Pay Commission to increase the UK’s national legal minimum wage to £9.42 per hour.
The panel concluded: “Careworkers and managers must be trained in numerous areas… and increasingly they are also expected to be experts in technology solutions in care. These roles are not just about helping people get out of bed or cooking.”