Filling the care staff gap

The adult social care workforce is a vital asset. More people work in social care than the NHS - 1.65 million compared to 1.5 million in the NHS. However, the ability to attract and retain staff with the right skills sets is hampered by poor pay and reward and the lack of coherent career structures.

As part of the care reforms announced, the government said it would spend £500m over the next three years on the workforce, which will include:

  • Professionalising and developing the care workforce, as well as providing additional support to regulated roles, such as social workers.

  • Funding mental health and wellbeing resources, including to help care staff recover from the pandemic.

  • Taking action to improve recruitment and retention.


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In 2020/21, local authorities spent £7.8 billion on long-term support for older people, of which £4.8 billion was on nursing or residential care, £2.9 billion on community support, including home care

Each local authority has an amount which they will pay for a given care need. This might be an hourly rate for home care or a weekly fee for residential care. Not all care providers will accept this r