In recent months, The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care, of which I’m Joint Chair, has been carrying out an Inquiry into the Professionalisation of Social Care Workers. Over the course of this inquiry, we heard evidence from a range of stake-holders and discovered that the social care sector is dangerously under-regulated with workers who are untrained, undervalued, low-paid, and overworked.
We collected evidence suggesting that as many as 500,000 carers have no training and many more are paid under £9 an hour. In addition, there is no accredited qualification for social care workers and, instead, training is largely handled by individual care providers.
To improve the quality of care, our inquiry report calls for a new, standardised, well-funded training and career development programme. This training would go hand-in-hand with the creation of a compulsory and accredited Care Certificate as well as a register of social care workers.
We’ve also recommended that a new national care body with NHS affiliation is established. We want to see greater integration between social care and NHS services, with care workers given equal status as NHS staff.
Professionalising care work in these ways would help to ensure that those working in the sector are respected and valued, and have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide top quality care. At the same time, we need to improve the terms and conditions of work for those who provide such vital care.
You can find our full report here. Thank you to all of those individuals and organisations that contributed to the inquiry. It now falls on the Government to implement our suggestions and create a social care system that is fair to both workers and those who receive care.