Inquiry into workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care
Carers Trust responded to the Health and Social Care Select Committee inquiry into workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care in light of the Coronavirus crisis.
Carers Trust highlighted what Network Partners have been telling us about some of the challenges they have faced during the Coronavirus crisis, including:
- Supporting staff and volunteers with their mental health.
- Increase demand for services.
- Loss of staff and impact of having to furlough staff.
- Difficulty accessing PPE and increased costs of purchasing PPE.
We highlighted that during the Coronavirus crisis, many domiciliary care providers worked well with local authorities while managing staff absences and stretched capacity during the pandemic. Before the Coronavirus crisis, experts were warning about the fragility of the social care market and the workforce vacancy rate of around 120,000. Despite these factors, it seems that in response to the unprecedented challenges presented by Coronavirus, local authorities and providers responded positively.
Our response also highlighted that social care and its workforce have felt less valued than their counterparts in the NHS. For example, policies such rapid discharge from hospitals which seemed to prioritise hospital capacity over social providers’ capacity and the delayed Social Care Action Plan contributed to a feeling that meant social care providers and staff feel less valued than NHS staff.
We set out the need for a People Plan for Social Care. In late July, the NHS People’s Plan was released. The Plan sets outs how the NHS will support employee wellbeing, how it will use employees’ full range of skills and experience and how the NHS will recruit and retain staff. Carers Trust set out the need to take action to ensure the widespread problems in recruitment and retention of care workers are addressed. Social care workers were at the frontline of the response to the Coronavirus crisis and like their counterparts in the NHS, they deserve to be recognised for their work during the pandemic.
If you’d like any more information about the response – please contact our Policy team.