Senedd Committee calls for National Care Service to be established in Wales
A Senedd Committee says the development of a National Care Service is essential to help resolve recruitment and staff retention problems in care homes across Wales
The Senedd’s Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee has called on the Welsh Government to help develop the new service to combat staffing issues which are causing “significant stress” for care homes and says more support from the Welsh Government is crucial to drive up standards.
The Committee also says that the establishment of a National Care Service will ensure ‘parity of pay and conditions’ within the sector.
Mark Isherwood MS, chair of the 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 statin that it has a ‘them and us mentality’, clearly something needs to be done.”
In all, the Committee makes 13 recommendations to the Government for how it can improve the care system in Wales including:
Urging 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.
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