A cross-party group of MPs have called for the creation of a new national care body with NHS affiliation and concrete proposals for workforce reform.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Care said a ‘National Care Service’ should be set up to further professionalise the workforce and provide “national identity” for social care.
The group has also called for a governing council for the national care body that would establish the mandatory registration of all care workers in England within two to three years, and a defined qualification package, starting from a reformed, compulsory and accredited Care Certificate.
This qualification package would formally recognise pre-existing, medicalised and complex care skills that “too often go unacknowledged, unvalued and unrewarded”, the APPG on Social Care said.
Labour MP Louise Haigh, vice chair of APPG on Social Care, said: “This cross-party report shows quite vividly the sector is systemically broken.
“While it requires serious, sustained funding, the sector equally requires fundamental reform and that must begin with the professionalisation of its chronically under-valued, exploited and degraded workforce. The findings should form the premise of that urgent conversation going forward.”
Welcoming the report, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Developing a fully-fledged professional social care workforce is something which councils encourage and this must be recognised as a major long-term project.
“Social care work should be seen as valuable and rewarding in its own right and achieving parity of esteem between the NHS and social care workforces is important.”
Kelly Andrews, national officer for Care at GMB, the union for care workers, added: “This groundbreaking cross-party report is very welcome – especially after seeing the long-awaited social care green paper kicked into the long grass over and over again.
“It’s encouraging to see politicians of all stripes putting forward a bold plan to fix a care sector that is crumbling around our ears.”
CHP sister title, Home Care Insight, has partnered with the National Association for Care & Support Workers (NACAS) to campaign for the compulsory registration of care workers in England.
If you would like to sign their petition, please click here.