Supplementary written evidence submitted by the Local Government Association (RTR0156)
Re: Workforce: recruitment, training and retention in health and social care
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to provide evidence as part of the Committee’s inquiry into Workforce: recruitment, training and retention in health and social care. As I highlighted during the session, the LGA and councils are concerned about the current state of the adult social care workforce, which is under enormous pressure. This is evidenced in turnover of 28 per cent and vacancy levels at 10 per cent. The workforce is also experiencing high levels of burnout. As highlighted in DHSC’s adult social care workforce survey last year, social care employers’ ability to attract and retain staff with the right skills, values and abilities is hampered by low pay, poor terms and conditions, lack of parity of esteem compared to NHS workers in comparable roles, and the absence of a career development framework which might incentivise people to remain in care work.
In the session, you asked for me to provide you with some examples of the comparison of pay between adult social care and other industries. A lack of action on care worker pay, amongst other issues including those working in the sector feeling historically undervalued, will continue to have consequences on care worker recruitment and retention, with obvious impacts likely to be felt by people who draw on social care.
According to Skills for Care, sales and retail assistants earned 13 pence per hour less than care workers in 2012/13, but in 2020/21, on average, they earned 21 pence per hour more. We know workers with five years (or more) experience in the adult social care sector are paid just 6 pence (1 per cent) more per hour than care workers with less than one year of experience. In addition, the Health Foundation’s 2019 report The real cost of a fair adult social care system reported that there is a 7 per cent gap between the pay rates for adult social care nurses, and the rates available for nurses in the NHS. For care workers in the adult social care sector, average full-time equivalent pay in 2017/18 was
£16,000. A similar role working to provide support to doctors and nurses in the NHS would pay a fifth higher (£19,300).
I would also like to provide some information around the question which Rosie Cooper MP asked concerning providers causing CQC concern. The question was addressed to Ian Trenholm and there was not time to add to his full response, but I would like to add that local authorities may often seek to provide support to providers in such situations. This may include support for the Registered Manager, limiting new admissions by agreement so that the provider has more capacity to address quality issues, addressing specific practice issues, or facilitating mutual aid with staffing.
I hope this additional information is helpful, and as always please do not hesitate to get in touch with Laura Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have further queries. My thanks once again for the invitation to share the LGA’s thoughts with the Committee, and I look forward to reading the Committee’s final report.
Yours sincerely, Simon Williams
Director of Social Care Improvement, LGA