Lack of credible workforce plan for social care is a glaring omission in government reform plans

Natasha Curry responds to the PAC report on reforming adult social care in England.

Press release

Published: 20/03/2024

Responding to the PAC report, Reforming adult social care in England, Nuffield Trust Deputy Director of Policy Natasha Curry said:

“The report points to a grim picture of delays and downgraded ambition without a roadmap or the leadership needed to demonstrate how the laudable vision to improve the broken social care sector, set out in 2021, will be achieved.

“We have emphasised that the absence of a credible workforce plan remains a glaring omission in reform plans – in fact, there has not been a long-term workforce plan for social care since 2009. Unpredictable and sporadic funding continues to undermine the sector’s ability to plan for the long term and this ability has been further eroded as new pots of money initially earmarked for reform have been repeatedly diverted to propping up a system struggling to keep pace with inflationary pressures. As a result, people continue to experience long waits for care; staff shortages endure; and delivery of even the government’s flagship charging reform – already delayed – is uncertain.

“Rightly, the PAC urges government to put in place measures to offer greater certainty to local authorities. All in all, the PAC delivers a scathing judgement on the government’s progress and we join calls for the DHSC to provide clarity on how it intends to deliver change.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Nuffield Trust is an independent health think tank. We aim to improve the quality of health care in the UK by providing evidence-based research and policy analysis and informing and generating debate
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