Time to think about the future Social Care workforce
There is a need to find the right people for the jobs that are among the 90,000 vacancies in social care in the UK. This is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed.
The work of the 1.45 million adult social care workers and what the future of these people holds comes under scrutiny in the forthcoming green paper of social care and support for older people. In parallel with workstream of working age adults, the opportunity to consider and reconsider the workplace has never been more opportune.
Skills for Care is an organisation that helps create a well-led, skills and valued adult social care workforce. A priority for Skills for Care in 2018 is to work with employers and others to help make a strong submission to the green paper. This is essential to ensure that the discussion includes recruitment and retention matters and well as the learning and development needs of the workforce.
Encouragement in the submission of comment has been found in the Lords select committee report of the Long-term sustainability of the NHS and adult social care as well as the Commons select committee report into adult social care. Both these reports placed an emphasis on the importance a well led and well-skilled workforce in the social and healthcare industry.
Registered Manager networks play a vital role in the development of strong workers knowing they have support around them in what can often be a lonely role. Firstly, this leads to better manager but more importantly higher quality services are delivered. With managers is regular communication with other managers around three quarters confirm that are more confident in their roles when using resources and getting suggestions from other managers in their field.
One of the real successes today in adult social care is the growth of apprenticeships[mN1] . In the last year almost 100,000 new apprenticeships were created. In the year ahead the number of apprenticeships taken up is expected to increase. With this, the take up of the new apprenticeship standards which lay the foundations for skills and behaviour is set to add value to the employer and the apprentice. These standards were introduced in 2017 and have been responsible for the growth in apprenticeships being undertaken. To add to this further standards are set to be introduced for leaders in adult care.
Skills for care gave evidence regarding to the difficulties faced in recruiting enough nurses to support a more challenging care landscape with people with growing needs that need support and care. The findings of the health select committee nursing enquiry are expected in 2018. The voice of the nursing home providers who employ more than 40,000 nurses is a voice that must be heard to ensure standards of health care and employment in the sector maintained and improved.
A national recruitment campaign has been proposed and this has been accepted with positivity. A scoping exercise will be run to attain the views from the sector surrounding recruitment and retention and what a campaign should consist of. The department of health will be given feedback around this.
Careworkers need to be celebrated and this will help those in the healthcare sector to fulfill a lifelong dream. Praise for those caring for the desperately ill that want to stay at home is much needed. The value of living and dying with dignity cannot be overlooked. For these reasons recruiting and retaining the best care workers is essential.