Britain’s social care system is in one of the worst states it’s been in “for many, many years”, according to the chief executive of Care England, the leading representative body for independent care providers.
Speaking to Newcross Healthcare’s Voices of Care podcast, Care England’s Chief Executive Professor Martin Green, highlights the enormity of the challenges facing the sector and lays out his vision for what needs to be done to prevent its wholesale collapse.
“On any one day there are about 160,000 vacancies across social care. It's also interesting to note how many people are considering leaving the sector. And of course, not only is it a very complex and challenging role, but we've all just been through a global pandemic and social care was on the very front line of that. And I think a lot of people are starting to think about whether or not they can go on because of the stresses that they encountered during the COVID crisis.”
With the NHS currently facing its toughest ever winter as hospitals grapple with a “twindemic” of increasing flu and Covid admissions, worsening ambulance waiting times and industrial action by nurses and ambulance drivers, Professor Green says it’s vital to understand the interdependent relationship between the NHS and social care.
“If social care collapses, the NHS would collapse. Social care provides a lot of support to people, particularly those with long-term conditions, and it also helps them live well and manage those long-term conditions. If you didn't have social care, you'd have a lot of people who would suddenly go into crisis and then require acute care.”
Responding to a recent YouGov survey commissioned by Newcross Healthcare which found that 27% of care workers are likely to leave the sector over the next 12 months, Professor Green argues that social care needs to be regarded as a profession with a proper pay structure and clear career pathways to ensure that people are paid what they are worth for doing a difficult and complex job.
Hosted by healthcare expert Suhail Mirza, the podcast episode featuring Professor Martin Green is available now alongside previous episodes in the series on Newcross Healthcare website https://www.newcrosshealthcare.com/voicesofcare as well as onYouTube, Spotify, Apple and a range of other podcast platforms.
You can see the full episode here https://youtu.be/0rN7YQYHGoY