The RCP has submitted evidence to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee’s Social care: funding and workforce inquiry. The inquiry seeks to establish how much extra money would need to be spent by government in each of the next five years to counteract the impact of a shortage of care on the NHS. It will also consider shortages in the social care workforce and what solutions need to be found to address this challenge.
The RCP’s submission highlights that integration between health and social care alone will not prevent patients from being admitted to hospital. Adequate additional funding is needed to provide enough hospital beds and meet the demand in social care. Clinicians remain concerned about the support being provided to realise these ambitions. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has further magnified these longstanding challenges with social care and the RCP therefore calls on the government to immediately place social care on a sustainable footing without delay.
Provide a new financial settlement for social care
Finding a long-term, sustainable solution to how we pay for and provide care and support to people in England is among the greatest challenges our country faces. Any new settlement should provide secure funding to enable the social care system to operate effectively and deliver the outcomes that people need, taking into consideration the increasingly ageing population.
Valuing the workforce
COVID-19 has once again highlighted the need to strengthen the social care workforce. There is a clear need to ensure that social care and NHS workforce planning is joined up and considers the needs of the whole system rather than just parts of it. One aspect of social care workforce planning that needs to be urgently considers is how the future immigration system supports social care providers to recruit internationally. The health and social care system are heavily reliant on staff from outside of the UK therefore we must create a welcoming environment that values the contribution of workers from across the world. This must include fair pay, opportunities for higher quality training and career progression.