The National Care Forum (NCF) has called for workforce reform that redirects “the balance of care provision towards the not-for-profit sector”.
Responding to the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s inquiry into workforce recruitment, training and retention,the not-for-profit sector representative says that this will make sure that funding from either government or citizens …. “is reinvested to improve the quality of care, and importantly, the quality of pay, reward and conditions for the workforce”.
In its response to the inquiry the NCF highlights the following staffing statistics:
- 18 per cent vacancy rate
- 14 per cent absence because of the Omicron variant
- 49 local authorities now rationing care commissioning or taking exceptional measures, due to staffing shortages.
NCF CEO Vic Rayner says: “The pandemic has exacerbated pressures caused by chronic underfunding and a lack of workforce planning that were years in the making.
Among its recommendations, the NCF calls for:
- Immediate action to improve the pay and recognition of the workforce, including a loyalty bonus for current care staff
- Better learning & development opportunities, developing clearly defined pathways and training, supported by consistent investment that will enable employers to attract and retain the right people
- Making the Care Certificate mandatory, accredited and fully portable
- A fully funded People Plan for Social Care
- International recruitment of health and care staff now
- Upskilling the workforce with digital skills and competencies
- Statutory workforce planning
Care England has also joined the NCF in calling for social care to be valued equally with NHS workers.