Government policy fails to reflect MPs’ views on social care, survey finds

House of Commons

The majority (84%) of MPs agree that care work is skilled work, but government policy fails to reflect this, according to a study.

Research from the Homecare Association in conjunction with YouGov also reveals that 91% of the 103 MPs surveyed and 85% of the general public believe that care workers make a positive difference to the people that they support.

However, with home care still facing the worst recruitment shortage in living memory, the government still has “a long way to go” to address the issues which face the sector, the membership body said.

The survey shows that 73% of MPs agree that government funding to train the social care workforce is as important as funding to train NHS staff.

Yet, the Homecare Association calculated that the £500 million allocated to support the 1.5 million members of the social care workforce over three years works out at little over £100 per worker per year, and there’s minimal prospect of a pay rise for higher qualification levels due to low fee rates from public sector commissioners.

In a survey of 843 Homecare Association members in August, 89% of providers said demand for their services had increased or significantly increased over the previous two months. 

Now, according to latest research, 65% of home care providers are saying that more care workers are leaving their jobs than before the pandemic.

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The vast majority (95%) of home care providers are saying that recruitment is harder than before the pandemic, with 78% saying it is the hardest it has ever been. 

Dr Jane Townson, CEO of the Homecare Assocation, commented: “This new research overwhelmingly shows that MPs and the general public appreciate the extraordinary lengths the social care workforce go to for their clients. 

“It is disappointing therefore that isn’t reflected in government policy. The Health and Social Care Levy barely scratches the surface for supporting the homecare workforce and will not help in the ‘levelling up’ that our PM and Government aspires to implement. 

“The Spending Review is a pivotal opportunity to support the homecare workforce. Homecare helps to enhance wellbeing, increase healthy life expectancy, reduce pressure on the NHS and save money for the health and care system.”

Tags : government policyhomecare associationMPsskilled workersstudy
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke