Some eye watering challenges around the supply of social care workers in all settings but likely to be extremely acute in rural areas this story tells us:
Estimates from Skills for Care found the social care sector had 165,000 vacancies last year - equivalent to 10 per cent of its workforce. Care sector leaders have repeatedly warned services are losing workers to the retail industry, where they can earn a higher wage.
When challenged on staff shortages in the Commons on Monday, Mr Barclay said a quarter of the £500m promised in the Autumn Budget would go towards staffing and pointed towards increased use of overseas staff.
However, Mr Padgham warned: “Attracting staff overseas isn’t the solution as they should be paid [equally].”
Neil Russell, chairman of PJ Care, a leading provider of specialist nursing care, said most of his organisation’s recruitment options are overseas staff but that it can take 18 months for these workers to begin work.
“We’re still competing with industries. We need to find 165,000 people who’ve not worked in care before,” he said.
Mr Barclay on Monday said an emergency recovery plan for the NHS had been drawn up, with the aim of addressing three areas: the immediate crisis, preparing for next winter, and longer term prevention of ill health to safeguard the system.
Some of the strain on the NHS comes from around 13,000 people occupying hospital beds in England – despite being medically fit to discharge – because they need further care before going home.