Social care staff shortages 'neither fair nor sustainable': The King's Fund responds to Skills for Care workforce statistics

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Responding to the Skills for Care report on the social care workforce, Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:

‘The vacancy rate in social care has been stubbornly high for several years, with more than 110,000 posts now vacant across the sector. A key reason for that is pay, which is now lagging behind other sectors including retail and cleaning. The average pay increase for care workers last year was just £0.26 an hour in real terms. The sector relies on the dedication of skilled, caring individuals working hard through increasingly challenging conditions, but with so many vacancies this is neither fair nor sustainable.

‘While a recession may reduce vacancies in the short term, the job requires a growing, skilled and dedicated staff to provide quality care. The sector will need over 500,000 more staff by 2035, so the longer-term solution must be a better paid and trained staff with real career progression. That in turn requires the funding and other reforms that social care has long been promised.’

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.