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Connell C - LB Mar 2022

NHS leaders warn of a social care workforce crisis

More than nine in 10 NHS leaders are warning of a social care workforce crisis in their area which they expect will get worse this winter, according to survey results published today by NHS Confederation.

The survey further reveals that nearly all NHS leaders believe the lack of capacity in social care is putting the care and safety of patients at risk.

More than four in five also warn that the absence of care packages enabling people to return home or be moved into a care home is the main reason why medically fit patients are stuck in hospital longer than necessary.

Almost all the NHS leaders said that the most effective solution would be better pay for social care staff and want the government to increase investment in social care as a priority.

Professor Vic Rayner, chief executive of the National Care Forum, the association for not-for-profit care and support providers, said: “This survey of NHS leaders comes on top of two Health and Social Care Select Committee reports this week and confirmation of 165,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector by Skills for Care last week.

“The resoundingly stark message from both healthcare and social care leaders is that urgent action is needed now. This survey is clear – the lack of social care capacity is causing huge pressures across the healthcare system and having a very real human impact on people, their families and the entire health and care workforce.

“When healthcare and social care leaders stand side by side to urge the government to increase investment in care services and boost wages for care workers, then it really is time to listen.  Alongside urgent action on pay, terms and conditions, there is also an urgent need to create a dedicated and fully funded social care workforce plan to enable a long-term approach to workforce development, recruitment and retention, to meet significant demographic change.”

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