Care England has submitted evidence to the government in favour of sustainable funding and a long-term plan for the social care workforce.
The representative body for independent adult social care providers has responded to a call for evidence on good practice on in-work progression from the Department of Work and Pensions.
The submission calls for the creation of a 10-year people plan, akin to that in the NHS, to support those who work in adult social care with a fair wage and substantial training and development.
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, (pictured) said: “The long-term funding gap is the primary threat to the care sector. Maintaining the financial sustainability of social care providers is of fundamental importance in maintaining the capacity of the health and care system at large. Adequate funding to allow care providers to increase the wages of the workforce will help recognise their extraordinary efforts over the past year and entice new recruits into the sector. This will ultimately benefit the whole country in its recovery from the pandemic.
“For too long, governments of all stripes have implemented policies which have in fact thwarted the ability of care providers to develop their workforces. For example, failing to fund providers to implement increases in the National Living Wage in a sustainable manner. We sincerely hope that such disjointed policymaking will be a thing of the past once we emerge from the pandemic.”
In its submission, Care England presents several key areas of reform within the care sector that would in turn help contribute to the recovery of the UK economy by providing meaningful employment.
The organisation said it should now be the “utmost priority” of the government to properly fund the social care sector, given the sacrifices that colleagues in the industry have made during the pandemic.
It added that an increase in funding is “essential” in diminishing vacancy rates and increasing the appeal of social care to the domestic workforce.
Martin added: “Sustainable funding will help providers to think strategically, provide competitive rates which encourages long-term employment and provide substantial training and development. The creation of a ten year plan for the social care workforce, akin to that in the NHS, will help demonstrate the opportunities strategy within the future of social care.”