MPs: social care plan needed as ‘matter of urgency’
A national workforce plan for the social care sector should be introduced as a “matter of urgency” to tackle staff shortages and burnout, according to the Health and Social Care select committee.
In a report, ‘Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care’, the committee said the absence of a ‘People Plan’ for social care is widening the disparity in recognition and support for the social care components of health and social care.
The report notes a Skills for Care estimate in October 2020 that put the staff turnover rate in the adult social care sector at 30.4 per cent in 2019-20 – equivalent to around 430,000 people leaving their jobs.
Skills for Care also estimated that 7.3 per cent of roles in adult social care had been vacant during 2019-20, equivalent to approximately 112,000 vacancies at any one time.
The committee recommended, as a priority, the Department of Health and Social Care produces a such a plan for social care that is aligned to the ambitions set out in the NHS People Plan.
“It is essential that it is included in the social care reforms promised this year. The adult social care workforce has stepped up to the plate during the pandemic,” it said.
“They deserve the same care and attention that the People Plan pledges to NHS colleagues.”
Health and Social Care committee chairman Jeremy Hunt added: “Workforce burnout across the NHS and care systems now presents an extraordinarily dangerous risk to the future functioning of both services.
“An absence of proper, detailed workforce planning has contributed to this, and was exposed by the pandemic with its many demands on staff. However, staff shortages existed long before Covid-19.”
Care England welcomed the report from the Health and Social Care Select Committee on workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care.
“As we made clear in our written submission and oral evidence, health and social care are two sides of the same coin. It is therefore essential that the adult social care workforce has the same access to resources as colleagues in the NHS,” said chief executive Martin Green.
“Maintaining the financial sustainability of social care providers is of fundamental importance in maintaining the capacity of the integrated health and care system and the resilience of the adult social care workforce,” he added.