I do wish Ministers to have a greater understanding of what they are talking about and this to applies to Minister of State for Social Care Helen Whately MP when she states hiring foreign workers for there are many rules to abide by. Also it is not just care homes which are desperately short of staff but all areas of social care for adults and children, including home care, supported living, respite, hospises and others.
While the lack of staff is a very real problem, adding to this is the major problem of pay and the appropriate funding of social care. Currently the rate of pay is usually around the National Liviving Wage £9.50 per hour increasing to £10.42 in April 2023 for those 23 and over and in some instances the Real Living Wage of £10.90 for those 18 and over. So in April 2023, especially for those over 23 not much difference.
Especially when they could be earning much more in many other areas with much less responsibilitities such as supermarkets over £11. But for the responsibilities care workers undertake they should be earning at least £13/14. Most care workers are employed by care providers in the private sector who recieve their funding from Local Authorities, (LAs), However, these LAs have been subjected to severe austerity cuts to their funding since 2010 from many Tory governments and their current funding is not able to sustain the required increases to enable care workers to be paid more. Social care needs an urgent increase in funding currently stated to be in the region of £7 billion.
While The Health Foundation has suggested that an additional £14.4 billion a year would be required by 2030/31 to meet future demand, improve access to care, and pay more for care.
So, Helen so much more is required and while bringing in Non-UK workers would be a help it is so far from the real answers to the problems to ensure a sustained social care, which if not done will have even more problems for a continuation of the NHS.
Source: Care homes should give hiring foreign workers a go, says minister