MPs calls for ‘credible plan’ to sustain underfunded care sector

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A Public Accounts Committee report has called for urgent action to reverse the care sector’s poor public image and boost recruitment and retention.

In its report, the MPs’ committee said the adult social care sector was underfunded with its workforce suffering from low pay, low esteem and high staff turnover.

Committee Chair Meg Hillier MP said: “Adult social care needs sustainable funding and a stable workforce. The sector is scraping by and without an explicit, long-term plan backed by Government it could soon be on its knees.

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“Levels of unmet need are high and rising; short-term funding fixes are a road to nowhere and the ingrained issues that lead to high turnover in the workforce could be compounded by Brexit.

“Government should not content itself with councils’ ability simply to meet the legal minimum for care provision.

“Nor should it seek solace in measures that risk opening a prolonged debate on the challenges facing the sector. Those challenges are already well-documented, clear and pressing.”

The committee urged the Government to publish this year and then implement a long-term funding plan for care which should go hand in hand with financial and other support to improve the recruitment, development and retention of the care workforce.

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