The social care staffing crisis is putting the safety of NHS patients at risk, according to new NHS Confederation survey.
Around 250 NHS leaders took part in the survey. It found that:
- Over 90 per cent of NHS leaders identified a social care workforce crisis in their area which they expect will get worse this winter.
- Nearly all NHS leaders said the lack of capacity in social care is putting the care and safety of patients at risk.
- More than four in five NHS leaders said that the absence of care packages for people to be able to return home or be moved into a care home is the main reason why medically fit patients are stuck in hospital longer than they should be.
- Almost all NHS leaders said that the most impactful solution would be better pay for social care staff and want the government to increase investment in social care as a priority.
Professor Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum, commented: “The resoundingly stark message from both healthcare and social care leaders is that urgent action is needed now. This survey is clear – the lack of social care capacity is causing huge pressures across the healthcare system and having a very real human impact on people, their families, and the entire health and care workforce.
“When healthcare and social care leaders stand side by side to urge the government to increase investment in care services and boost wages for care workers, then it really is time to listen. Alongside urgent action on pay, terms, and conditions, there is also an urgent need to create a dedicated and fully funded social care workforce plan to enable a long-term approach to workforce development, recruitment, and retention, to meet significant demographic change.”