Written Evidence Submitted by the Working Group to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Adult Social Care (RTR0037)
About the APPG on Adult Social Care:
About the Working Group of the APPG on Adult Social Care:
Members of the APPG’s Working Group – National Care Forum (NCF), Think Local Act Personal (TLAP), Home Group, the National Co-Production Advisory Group (NCAG), Methodist Homes Association (MHA), Skills for Care, Anchor Hanover, Choice Care Group, Care Tech, Dimensions, Affinity Trust, Nourish Care & Community Integrated Care.
What are the main steps that must be taken to recruit the extra staff that are needed across the health and social care sectors in the short, medium, and long-term.
- All of the answers given by the Adult Social care APPG to this inquiry have been drawn from the APPG’s Vision for Social Care report which can be read in full here.
- The pandemic has shone a long overdue spotlight on the dedication, commitment, resilience and high skills of the social care workforce, and the role they play as key workers in every community across the country.
- We must use this opportunity to secure better pay, better conditions and better recognition for the social care workforce. This is particularly important in the context of the mental health and well-being of the social care workforce. There remains a huge recruitment challenge to attract people into social care, and we must create the right environment, pay scales and opportunities for aspirational career progression, with clear pathways for people to progress in careers in social care
- We also need to promote in the eyes of the public a more positive image of social care as a rewarding and fulfilling career, and for people to see this in practice. This will help attract more people, including young people, who will see adult social care as a career of choice, and support longer-term succession planning.
- We need to address low pay and poor terms and conditions in social care jobs. Pay conditions that allow care workers to enjoy the fulfilment they receive from working in social care alongside feeling rewarded and recognised.
- People who access care and support are diverse, and the social care workforce should also reflect this diversity and be inclusive of people from different backgrounds.
What should be in the next iteration of the NHS People Plan, and a people plan for the social care sector, to address the recruitment, training, and retention of staff?
- There is a need for an adult social care workforce strategy/ people plan where central and local government, employer bodies, improvement bodies and people who use care and support work in partnership. This plan needs to be a partnership between the people who work in care, and people receive care and support.
- We need a consistent approach to workforce planning which is joined up by a national plan, underpinned by credible data and intelligence which sets the direction and priorities for workforce capacity and capabilities.
- A Workforce Strategy for Social Care would help to support those who work in social care, but it should complement other priorities such as Children’s Services, unpaid carers, and the NHS workforce development plan to ensure it recognises social care in the round.
- A workforce strategy for social care should be anchored in the vision of improving the quality of life of the people who access care and support. It should be clear on the different roles and responsibilities of employers, Government (central and local) and improvement bodies.
- It should be accompanied by social care funding reform so that the system is adequately funded and should be clear on the national to local join up, including how integrated care systems (ICSs) can use it alongside the NHS people plan to develop integrated local strategies.
- It should also recognise the contribution of unpaid carers as part of the social care workforce.
What changes could be made to the initial and ongoing training of staff in the health and social care sectors in order to help increase the number of staff working in these sectors?
- We need to look at career development and frameworks that help people feel valued and help them see where they can most easily build their careers.
- We need to invest in supporting employers to invest in the learning and development needs of their workforce. Values based recruitment is also an important factor to improve the quality of the workforce.
- When envisioning a person-centred social care system, the requirements, and expectations of the workforce will sometimes become blurred as roles evolve and respond to people who access care and support. The expansion and development of the social care workforce into roles that enable prevention and the growth of innovative models of care, will lead to greater personalisation of care.
What is the role of integrated care systems in ensuring that local health and care organisations attract and retain staff with the right mix of skills?
- It is important that we achieve genuine parity of esteem between health and social care, with significant steps taken to ensure that social care receives the same status and respect as that of health, including respect for the skills of the social care workforce. Achieving this parity has the potential to attract new talent and improve recruitment prospects for the sector.
- Parity of esteem between health and social care is essential if we are to realise the benefits of establishing a vision for the future of adult social care. A more positive portrayal of the value and benefits of working in the sector, with a greater appreciation by wider society of the value and high skills of the workforce.
This is not an official publication of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues.