The development of a National Care Service is essential to help address difficulties in staff recruitment and retention according to a Senedd Committee.
The Senedd’s Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee has called on the Welsh Government to help develop the new service to combat the difficulties in recruitment and retention that is causing ‘significant stress’ for the care homes.
The Committee is concerned that the current situation is fettering the ability of providers in providing good, quality social care for its users and that more support from the Welsh Government is crucial to drive up standards. The Committee also says that the establishment of the National Care Service will also ensure ‘parity of pay and conditions’ within the sector.
Mark Isherwood MS,
Chair of the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee
“More needs to be done to provide parity in pay and terms between the health service and social care sector, to ensure more staff can be trained and retained within the social care sector.
“The funding systems for care home provision are complex and difficult to navigate for organisations delivering services and for people who use them. When families, staff and patients are referring to the system as ‘discriminative’ and stating that it has a ‘them and us mentality’, clearly something needs to be done.”
The Committee makes 13 recommendations to the Government for how it can improve the care system in Wales including:
- Calling for a review of salaries and terms and conditions of care workers, to ensure parity with NHS staff and to be competitive with other industries, such as the hospitality industry. Without parity of pay and conditions, the sector will continue to face problems recruiting and retaining staff.
- Calling for the Welsh Government’s task and finish groups developing the new National Framework for social care to consult service users as part of its work.
- Encouraging and supporting the role of volunteers in care homes but within the strict boundaries of supporting quality of life such as developing shared interests and activities. Volunteers must not be used to provide professional care services.
More on this story
Care Home Commissioning Read the report