Calls for Welsh Government to create National Care Service to address recruitment difficulties
The development of a National Care Service is essential to help address difficulties in staff recruitment and retention in the care sector, according to a Senedd Committee.
Members of the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee have urged the Welsh Government to help establish the service to tackle staffing issues that are causing “significant stress” for care home operators.
It comes after concerns were raised that the current problems are hindering the ability of providers to deliver good quality social care for people and that more support is needed to drive up standards.
The committee said that the establishment of the National Care Service would also ensure “parity of pay and conditions” within the sector.
A total of 13 recommendations have been made to ministers on how they can improve the care system in Wales, including:
- A review of salaries and terms and conditions of care workers, to ensure parity with NHS staff and to be competitive with other industries, such as the hospitality industry. Without parity of pay and conditions, the sector will continue to face problems recruiting and retaining staff.
- Calling for the Welsh Government’s task and finish groups developing the new national framework for social care to consult service users as part of its work.
- Encouraging and supporting the role of volunteers in care homes but within the strict boundaries of supporting quality of life such as developing shared interests and activities. Volunteers must not be used to provide professional care services.
Mark Isherwood MS, chair of the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee, said: “More needs to be done to provide parity in pay and terms between the health service and social care sector, to ensure more staff can be trained and retained within the social care sector.
“The funding systems for care home provision are complex and difficult to navigate for organisations delivering services and for people who use them.
“When families, staff and patients are referring to the system as ‘discriminative’ and stating that it has a ‘them and us mentality’, clearly something needs to be done.”
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