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Irrational remedies

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

The announcement that government is to spend up to £172 million in funding more nurse apprenticeships has got me wondering where these new apprentices are going to come from; presumably not from outside the UK but quite likely from the shallow pool that is the social care workforce. And so, in seeking to address one problem, the government may well be exacerbating another.

Would it not be a more rational use of resources to beef-up the social care workforce, both in numbers and skills, to help meet a presently unmet and growing need and so lighten the pressure on existing nurses working in the NHS?

We might have thought that the close interdependence of health and social care had been made more than clear by the ongoing challenge of dealing with Covid-19. We might have imagined that the decision-makers would have shaken-off their blinkers and be seeking to implement measures which would acknowledge this interdependency. But no, instead we have hurriedly implemented stop-gap, populist, health-focused measures which are likely to further undermine the foundation upon which the health service rests.

An up-to-strength, well-trained social care workforce won’t negate the need for nurses but will ease the pressure on the entire system.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

3 Replies to “Irrational remedies”

  1. Rightly, or wrongly, social care is a private sector activity, all but exclusively so; Inevitably, it is fully exposed to the page 1 economics of supply & demand. Excess supply results in low fees, low wages and poor recruitment… you can’t buck the market.

  2. I believe if there is a career path many talented people may join the social care sector as a care assistant for the right reason. If the government respects the care assistants as “the nations’ heroes” and pay a little extra, we may resolve the problem. We can offer the job to people who live in U.K

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