The National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS) has called on the next government to ‘act quickly’ to deliver a long-term strategy that will support the social care workforce.
In its new manifesto, published ahead of the December 12 General Election, the organisation calls for greater recognition and respect for care workers, improved standards of care delivery and training, fair contractual terms, and the creation of an official register for care workers in England.
“We believe that for care workers to deliver care with dignity and respect, they must be treated with dignity and respect. When their views are valued and where their wellbeing is an integral part of business and strategy planning, the best results – those we all hope for – can be achieved,” the manifesto said.
“After decades of chronic underfunding of social care, the new government must act quickly and decisively. Everybody deserves outstanding care but a long-term strategy is needed to achieve this.”
NACAS argues that all care workers must receive the real living wage, as part of sustainable funding for social care, including pay for travel time and all hours on duty.
It also repeated its call for the professionalisation of the care workforce via compulsory registration and the creation of a robust training framework that is fully accredited and offers a range of career development opportunities and specialisms.
NACAS said the next government should introduce a detailed workforce strategy, similar to the NHS People Plan, led by the people who do the job every day, and called for national policy changes acknowledging that the well-being of care workers directly affects the well-being of people who need care services.
“The NHS has a People Plan that outlines the vision and actions required to deliver it, whilst also supporting the well-being of staff. Social care deserves the same forward thinking and long-term planning in order to deliver great care,” the manifesto said.
NACAS also called for investment in technology driven by the need for the best outcomes for people who receive services, and without cutting down the hours of social care provision.
“Empathy and relationships cannot be replaced by technology,” the organisation said.