The professionalization, qualification and regulation of care work implemented across the European Union. Making better use of the existing workforce through CPD as well as encouraging young people to view care work as a career choice with recognised routes for progression.
The following recommendations are taken from the ‘Key to Care’ Report
The full report ‘Key to Care: Report of the Burstow Commission on the Future of the Home Care Workforce’ can be found here.
Better and fairer commissioning
- Minimum payments for contact hours: councils should ensure that they are paying a sufficient rate for contact hours, which ensures that providers can pay care workers at least the minimum wage.
- Moving away from time and task commissioning: councils should be moving away from time and task commissioning and toward outcomes based commissioning.
- Better oversight of existing contracts: councils need to be more proactive in ensuring that their use of existing framework contracts is not contributing to the worst practices in home care, such as 15-minute care slots.
Valuing care and care workers
- Key worker status for care workers: the government should give immediate key worker status for those care workers employed directly by the public sector and should investigate how other care workers could be offered key worker status.
- A living wage for care workers: if we are truly to value our care workers they should receive a living wage. The United Kingdom Home Care Association calculates the hourly rate for the purposes of commissioning as £18.59 for compliance with the living wage and £21.33 for compliance with the London living wage.
- A licence to practise: the government should take immediate steps to put in place the suitability scheme proposed by the Health and Care Professions Council in the form of a statutory code with independent adjudication and a register. In the longer term, licensing would support the professional status of care workers and provide greater reassurance to care commissioners.
- A training and career pathway for care workers: care workers in both health and social care need minimum standards of training which can be developed into pathways of specialism. A more formalised career path would include apprenticeships alongside clear career pathways.
- Free influenza vaccinations for care workers: care workers should be offered free flu jabs by the NHS to protect both their clients and themselves.
- Working carer tax credits and care credits: people with informal caring responsibilities should have support to continue in employment if desired.
Responsible and innovative providers
- Enforcement of the minimum wage: all commissioned care should follow open book accounting procedures. HMRC should change its procedures for how minimum wage investigations are triggered, allowing complaints from third parties.
- Innovation and use of new technologies: service design approaches and the use of technology can transform the way we deliver care in the community and liberate staff to spend more time on personal contact.