Recent findings from a four-month long enquiry into adult social care were published last week, in a report by the House of Commons Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee.
The findings showed nearly half of care staff (48 per cent) leave their jobs within a year of starting, with the social care sector replacing more than a third (36 per cent) of its nurses every year.
The inquiry also found that 49 per cent of home care workers are on zero hour contracts, compared with only three per cent of the workforce nationally.
The Committee have made recommendations to the Government, asking them to ‘urgently review’ how social care will be funded in the long term and address ‘serious threats’ to social care provision. They’ve asked that the Government publishes a care workers’ charter, setting out what staff can expect from their employer on wage levels, employment terms and conditions, training and career development. All in all, the Committee are asking for an improvement in the status of care workers to ensure there is a high quality and sustainable workforce.
The Committee also want CQC to oversee councils’ social care activities, after findings in their report highlighted:
– Reliance by care providers on their self-funded clients to subsidise local authority-funded clients by paying higher costs for the same care.
– Serious threats to care providers’ financial viability, which mean providers failing, exiting the market and handing back care contracts to councils.
Their recommendations to the Government are as follows:
– A standard process for assessing care costs, taking into account local variations in wage rates, to set fair prices that reflect costs.
– Councils annually audit services they commission, regularly carry out spot checks to ensure that people are receiving the care they require and ensure providers are paying staff the national minimum wage, covering care workers’ total costs – with the CQC overseeing councils’ monitoring activities.