Immigration controls implemented as part of Brexit look set to increase pressure on social care, workforce experts have concluded in a new report.
However, ‘throwing’ staff at the sector is not the answer, they say. Setting out the future for economic migration into the UK post-Brexit, experts from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) have recommended that social care remains subject to the new proposed salary threshold for immigrant workers of £25,600.
However, at the same time, the MAC accepts that there are very real workforce problems in social care. By way of explanation, it says that these are a result of the sector’s “failure to offer competitive terms and conditions.”
So, if facilitating recruitment in social care is not the answer to the sector’s staffing crisis – what is?
It is the view of the MAC that at the heart of the workforce crisis in social care is the lack of a sustainable funding model.” A popular idea among representatives in health and social care, this tenet is echoed by healthcare employer representative the NHS Confederation. In its response to the MAC, chief executive Niall Dickson, calls for the Spending Review later this year to “restore investment in training front line professional staff and restore the nursing bursary.”
However, as charity initiatives have shown over many years, the giving of money alone rarely results in more than a short-term fix.
More intrinsic changes are, perhaps, needed, including to:
- develop better integration between health and social care systems, allowing individuals to receive a seamless journey between the two
- increase the use of evidence-based care, with an emphasis on dynamic care provision: care that changes as it ‘learns’ from the experience or changing health state of the individual. This may include: monitoring and diagnostic technology that facilitates earlier diagnosis, as well as analytics that improve effectiveness of interventions made.
- change attitudes to age with increased acceptance that older people are getting ‘younger’, and that care must reflect a resident’s extended independence and autonomy, and right to choose.
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