RESPONSE: NHS backlogs will take longer to clear if social care pressures are not tackled
Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers and Deputy Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, has responded to the recent snap survey published by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).
The survey, which was completed by over half of the directors of adult social services in England, has found that nearly 400,000 people are now waiting for a social care assessment of their needs or a social care service. Consequently, ADASS is calling, as a priority, for action from the UK Government to raise the pay and status of care work and put it on a professional footing in the long term.
Responding to this recent social care survey, NHS Confederation’s Danny Mortimer said that the UK Government must immediately published the long-awaited social care whitepaper, along with a long-term health and social care workforce plan.
“Despite a record increase in home care provision, there is huge pressure on adult social care staff and services this winter,” Danny commented. “For the NHS, it will take the backlog caused by the pandemic even longer to clear if we don’t immediately tackle the pressures facing social care.
“For social care more generally the government must act immediately to stem the loss of more care workers this winter and the social care workforce should be awarded a £1000 retention bonus.
“In the longer term, Government must immediately publish their long-promised White Paper, along with a long-term health and social care workforce plan.
“Staff in the social care system are working flat out to ensure people get the care they need. The challenges they face have been unsustainable for some time. There can be no further delay.”
Earlier this year, Danny said that the introduction of the new Health and Social Care Levy from April 2022 – which will be ringfenced for health and social care and based on National Insurance contributions – said that the funding levels will not go far enough and that social care needs a longer-term sustainable plan.