The Tory government promised to revitalise social care in the UK – but seems set to renege on that vow.
Is this the next big Tory scandal?
Ministers are poised to cut £250m from investment in the social care workforce in England, it has been reported, in a move that providers say could set back care “for years to come”.
With more than 165,000 care worker jobs vacant, and low pay driving staff to quit for better wages in retail and hospitality, care providers and councils have been clamouring for investment in recruitment and retention. Inadequate staffing levels are frequently noted as a cause of neglect and poor care by the Care Quality Commission.
However, according to the Health Service Journal (subscription), the government is poised to water down a promise it made in the December 2021 social care white paper to dedicate £500m to “investment in knowledge, skills, health and wellbeing, and recruitment policies [that] will improve social care as a long-term career choice”. This amount could be cut to £250m.
Source: Government ‘to cut £250m from social care workforce funding’ in England | Care workers | The Guardian
As a service user whose support worker recently moved to a different job, I have first hand experience of how difficult it is to get help in the current environment. I’m more fortunate than many, as I at least have help with shopping, and I don’t mind too much being isolated. For many, that is not the case. People who need more help than me are suffering because of the lack of funding and the difficulty recruiting staff at minimum wage levels (and many care workers do far more than they are contracted to do). I’m 60 and housebound without support. I get out once a week at the moment, with help. I can see how distressing it is to those who fall through the cracks in the system caused by Tory cuts and differences in funding from one postcode to the next.