BREAKING NEWS: Committee recommends adding carers to Shortage Occupation List


A new report from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended the government makes care workers immediately eligible for the Health and Care Worker Visa and places the occupation on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

The report comes after the MAC was commissioned by the government to undertake a review of adult social care and the impact the ending of freedom of movement has had on the sector.

MAC Chair, Professor Brian Bell, said: “Short-term fixes are not always the solution for the UK economy, however, they can be important in ensuring sectors with urgent needs can access the staff they need quickly. We have outlined plans on how the government can change their approach to short-term visas and also propose changes to address some of the challenges facing the social care sector.”

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Raj Sehgal, managing director of ArmsCare Ltd, said: “The effects of Brexit were not planned for and this has severely hampered recruitment efforts in the sector and has led to further chronic shortages, putting many providers into a recruitment crisis.

“This staffing shortfall has led to the necessary closing of beds and indeed many homes across the nation, which in turn has slowed discharges from hospitals.

“The sector’s need to replace staff was not given adequate government consideration and now the entire health sector is paying the price. An example of the government’s reactive approach to issues rather than being proactive in planning ahead.

“Not only do we need the immediate addition of heath care workers on to the Shortage Occupation List but we need a much easier and fast track system to process these applications before the health and social care system collapses beyond repair.”

Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association, said: “It appears that almost everyone who understands the challenges social care providers are facing know that this barrier of not being able to recruit a care workforce from outside our shore is essential to ensure vulnerable people who need to access social care support in a planned and sustainable way can do so.

“We are not seeing the volume of applications from our domestic unemployed, which would always be our first option, so this government needs to act responsibly and show that they too understand that this is essential to keep social care and the NHS safe. MAC have made their position quite clear on this, providers are lobbying continually and providing clear evidence to back it up and the NHS needs social care to support those in their hospitals without clear acute clinical needs – so what is the basis of the government’s inability to understand the crisis?

Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO, Care England, said: “As the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care, Care England has long called for care workers to be on the Shortage Occupation List and are therefore pleased that the Migration Advisory Committee has put forward this very important recommendation to government. There is an acute workforce shortage in adult social care now so this recommendation can’t be enacted quickly enough.”

A recent survey of Care England’s members showed that the vast majority of members (96%) reported that a workforce shortage was their primary concern this winter.


Tags : LegislationMACmigrationRecruitmentShortage Occupation List

The author Lee Peart

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