In recent weeks, The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care, of which I’m Joint Chair, has been collecting evidence for our Inquiry into the Professionalisation of Social Care Workers. Over the course of our investigation, we’ve discovered that the social care sector is dangerously under-regulated with workers who are untrained, underpaid, and overworked.
There is no accredited qualification for social care workers and, instead, training is largely handled by individual care providers. We’ve collected evidence suggesting that as many as 500,000 carers have no training and many more are paid under £9 an hour. Workers’ travel time between appointments is frequently unpaid and there is little opportunity for workers to progress in the sector, develop skills, and pursue a long-term career.
This system encourages bad employers and creates a huge amount of risk for staff and the people who are being cared for. It is inevitable we will have scandal after scandal while we are underfunding the system and undervaluing its workforce.
This is a national emergency. Our APPG will make its recommendations to the Government in September and we hope that Ministers will take urgent steps to ensure that both social care workers and those they care for are protected.