Sector must improve care workers’ status, says healthcare insurer
Private healthcare insurer Simplyhealth says improving the status of care work and providing greater support to informal or unpaid carers could help fund a sustainable health and social care system.
Statistics quoted by the company suggest that almost half (45%) of UK adults believe improving working conditions for the nation’s care workers would help reform the sector, while 43% of people would like to see more support given to informal or unpaid carers, such as simplifying the Carer’s Allowance process, to help fund a sustainable system.
The latest figures follow a report from the National Audit Office published February, criticising the Department of Health & Social Care for not doing enough to support a sustainable social care workforce, adding that care providers struggle to recruit and retain workers.
The Government has said it will launch a Green Paper consultation later this year on proposals to reform care and support for older people.
Simplyhealth chief executive Romana Abdin said that, while successive governments had not yet reached widespread consensus for long-term reform, the NAO figures suggested there was a public appetite for a collaborative approach to decision-making around health and social care that is not influenced by party politics.
“Elderly people are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and so it’s crucial a sustainable support network is put in place to safeguard the wellbeing and dignity of the nation in old age,” said Ms Abdin.
“The forthcoming consultation will provide the opportunity for the government to have a candid conversation with the country about the care needs of our elderly are met now and in the future.”