As many as 500,000 people could be passing themselves off as trained care workers after advertising their services online, it was claimed this morning.
The worrying figure follows “damning” new evidence that while many professional care workers offer excellent services, there is a growing number in a “grey area” who have no training or qualifications and work cash in hand.
According to the Daily Express, experts fear that millions of OAPs in need of care remain at the mercy of an “unlicensed and unskilled workforce”.
It reported today that the shocking findings have prompted the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care to launch an urgent investigation.
It is poised to make a host of recommendations to overhaul the system before the end of the year.
Labour MP and co-chair Louise Haigh told the paper: “I hadn’t realised how unqualified some of the workforce looking after our most vulnerable were. The system that has been created encourages bad employers and creates a huge amount of risk for staff and the people who are being cared for.
“It is inevitable we will have scandal after scandal while we are underfunding, undervaluing and underpaying the system and the workforce. This is a national emergency.”
The Daily Express said the APPG was appalled to learn there is no compulsory register or industry-recognised minimum standard qualification for those tasked with administering life-saving care to seriously ill patients.
Karolina Gerlich, chief executive of the professional body the National Association of Care and Support Workers (NACAS), said she has seen care jobs advertised with no legal requirement for registration and people with live-in housekeepers who double up as carers, telling the paper: “They have never trained in care and, despite good intentions, lack the skills and knowledge to deliver care well.
“This means that there is a huge potential for abuse. At the moment care workers that do not perform well are able to just move to the next provider. There is no way of tracking or stopping them from working in the industry further.
“The decrease in care quality has been shown to come from understaffing and the workforce being overworked and undertrained. All of these problems can be improved by treating care work as a proper profession and giving care workers the tools other professions receive.”
Home Care Insight recently partnered with NACAS to campaign for the compulsory registration of care workers in England.
Our aim is to encourage government ministers to make the registration of adult social care workers compulsory in England – the only country in the UK not to impose this – in order to help enforce professional standards, training and consistency of care throughout the sector.
Together, we are calling on sector leaders to support the campaign by signing our petition on Change.org.