Care leaders have slammed the government for overlooking social care following its announcement that it aims to make it easier for overseas doctors and nurses to work in the UK following Brexit.
The government announced last week that it intended to introduce an “NHS visa” as part of a promised “points-based immigration system”.
The government also said it was considering scrapping the minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants seeking five-year visas that has been criticised for its impact on the social care sector.
Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, said: “Whilst the Prime Minister’s decision to omit social care from his announcements is indicative of the inequality of treatment and attention placed upon the respective sectors it is also counterintuitive given that that the future sustainability of both sectors are fundamentally interlinked.
“Overseas nationals make a huge contribution to the care of some of society’s most vulnerable through the provision of social care. Future governments need to facilitate this through the creation of a sound migration policy which also recognises the currently fragility of the social care market in broad terms, but also, the acute nature of those workforce challenges currently faced by providers.”
Nadra Ahmed, chairman of the National Care Association, added: “We note with deep disappointment that once again that government’s entire focus on the recruitment crisis in health and social care is fixated on the NHS! Despite consistent evidence and messaging they have failed to recognise that you cannot fix just half a problem, the Department (DHSC) is responsible for the whole sector and without including social care in the solution to the crisis, the NHS will continue to suffer and struggle…the naivety is astounding and quite frankly beyond a joke now!”
Charles Armitage, co-founder and CEO at Florence, added: “Sadly, and predictably, this completely ignores the social care sector which is suffering worse staffing shortfalls than the NHS. We are short more than 100,000 staff in social care and this policy does nothing to tackle this.”