Responding to the King’s Fund report on staff shortages in the home care sector, Nadra Ahmed OBE, co-convenor of the Cavendish Coalition and Chairman of National Care Association, said:
“It is vital the Government gets its new immigration policy right if we are to keep health and social care services open.
“If we do not address the issue of the social care crisis we will be letting down some of the most vulnerable members of our society and creating additional challenges for the NHS by forcing those, who could be cared for within the social care setting, into overcrowded emergency services in local hospitals.
“The social care sector cannot survive without a migrant workforce from EU countries: we are hugely disappointed it has taken so long for staff to be given reassurances about their future in the UK.
“If the Government follows the guidance of this autumn’s Migration Advisory Committee report, as it has indicated it will, there could be yet more pressure on the ability to deliver care services based on vacancy rates of 110,000 at any given time in the UK.
“Vital and valued lower paid colleagues would be effectively cut-off by a salary threshold of £30,000 with no special allowance unlike that recommended for seasonal agricultural workers.
“It would be completely unacceptable to allow social care services to close under the strain of not having the workforce required to provide the necessary care and support to vulnerable citizens when they most need it.
“We look forward to engaging with the Government over the coming months to ensure the final proposals in the immigration white paper meet the requirements of the health and social care sector.”