Consensus’s response to the Public Accounts Committee Report – The adult social care workforce in England

May 9, 2018

Published today, The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report – The adult social care workforce in England warns urgent action is also required to reverse care work’s poor public image and boost recruitment and retention.

The adult social care sector is underfunded, with the care workforce suffering from low pay, low esteem and high turnover of staff.
The care sector is in a precarious state but the Department of Health and Social Care (the Department) has not yet said how it intends to put in place a long-term, sustainable funding regime to meet the ever-increasing demand for care.

James Allen, Managing Director, Consensus welcomes the report and states;

“The dedication and commitment of those working in social care is too often undervalued. That it remains a vibrant and rewarding sector to work in, is to the credit of the thousands who commit their lives to it. Consensus is immensely proud of its support staff and takes its responsibility to reward and develop those who are part of its workforce very seriously. In this context, the PAC report is welcomed as a long overdue commitment to bring about change and improvement across the adult social care sector.”

The report makes a number of recommendations including that the forthcoming Green Paper must not be the start of yet another protracted debate about the future funding of care and that the Department for Health and Social Care should establish quickly the funding local authorities need to commission care at fair prices, to support a workforce of the right size and shape to deliver a sustainable care sector in the long-term. It recommends that the Department should publish a credible plan, by the end of 2018, and implement it swiftly. The report also recommends that the Department;

  • Needs to understand fully the impact that the UK’s departure from the EU and future immigration policy, could have on the care workforce at both the national and local levels. It should put plans in place to address any shortfalls that might arise, to ensure that there is a sustainable workforce to meet the populations’ future care needs.
  • Should set out in the forthcoming workforce strategy how it intends to professionalise the care workforce further and consider a mandatory minimum standard for training as part of this.
  • Should establish and secure the funding Skills for Care needs both to support the training and development of the care workforce fully and to implement the forthcoming workforce strategy.
  • And finally, that the Department and Skills for Care should confirm when they will run the national campaign to promote care. They should ensure it is ambitious in scale and scope, seek to change the public narrative around care from overwhelmingly negative to positive, and have senior involvement from the Department.