It should be a matter of “national shame” that frontline social care workers are amongst the lowest earners in society, the chief executive of a major social care charity has said.
Commenting on last week’s debate in the House of Commons around the recognition and remuneration of social care workers, Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, said he would implore the government to move from “discussion into action”.
He said significant restrictions on social care funding under a decade of austerity means that care providers cannot “meaningfully change this situation” and it can only be resolved with “fair and sustainable” funding for the sector.
“There can be few minimum wage roles that come close to the accountability or responsibility as those of social care workers. Very few people, at heart, feel competent or confident enough to work in care. Despite this, the government has the audacity to badge our colleagues as ‘low skilled’. This is a minimum wage sector delivering maximum impact,” Adams said.
Carers were recognised as “heroes” and thanked for their “skill, dedication and sacrifice” as MPs from across the political divide called for parity of esteem between NHS and social care workers, and full recognition and reward for the health and care workforce during a Parliamentary debate on Thursday.
“This debate comes at a pivotal moment for the care industry. The bravery and impact of social care workers is now being more widely recognised, but we need to go further than just ‘clapping for carers’,” Adams said.
“Colleagues like ours are in many ways the final line of defence between the COVID-19 crisis that we all fear for vulnerable communities. They are working tirelessly in this heatwave, wearing layers of PPE, to be there for those who need society’s support. They do this on minimum wage salaries and without the safety-net of meaningful sick pay.
“We applaud the public for championing this campaign and hope that the government fulfils its moral responsibility to resolve this issue.”
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s largest social care charities. The charity’s 6500-person workforce supports more than 4000 people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns and dementia.