The National Care Forum (NCF) is the leading association for not for profit care and support providers. Responding on the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report on Adult Social Care and Immigration published today, Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of NCF and member of the social care expert advisory supporting the MAC with this work said:
“The Report reiterates some very important issues affecting the social care sector which as an organisation we have been raising for many months. The issues of underfunding and how this continues to exacerbate challenges to providers runs through the entire report, including the effects of increased demand for care, high staff vacancy and turnover rates and the impact of low pay and the care workforce challenges.
“The report identifies funding and immigration policy as possible solutions to alleviate some of these issues and recommends a broader strategic and whole system approach. The report recommends that the government fully funds a minimum rate of pay for care workers in England that is above the NLW, where care is provided through public funds, at a minimum rate of £10.50 per hour. While a focus on the minimum pay for care workers in this report is a helpful contribution to this issue, the NCF has consistently called for an independent pay review for social care, which involves employers, commissioners, and employee representatives with a view to implementing a new career-based pay and reward structure which is comparable with the NHS and equivalent sectors and fully-funded by Central Government .
“Furthermore, we fully support MAC’s endorsement of the views expressed by the Health and Social Care Committee for DHSC to produce a “People Plan” for social care in alignment with the NHS and echo their recommendation that DHSC, and the comparable bodies in the Devolved Administrations, develop a coherent workforce plan in consultation with the sector for a coherent workforce strategy between health and care. The fact that the Health & Care Bill has been passed today with no requirement for the government to deliver joint workforce planning or both health and social care really is a missed opportunity.
“The findings of this report provides further evidence of the need for the government to act on the recommendations as a matter of urgency.”