National Care Service consultation: discussion events summaries

A series of national online engagement events were held between August and November 2021 for people to share their views on the National Care Service consultation.

This document is part of a collection

23 September 2021

  • Theme of discussion: fair work and valuing the workforce
  • Time: 18:00-20:00
  • Discussions leader(s): Anna Kynaston


This is a summary of the key points raised by attendees at this session.  None of the points have been attributed to individuals as the purpose was to encourage broad and open discussion.  The summaries for all the national events will be provided to the independent contractor undertaking the consultation analysis.

Points raised at event

  • Want to see funding put in that will allow workforce to feel valued and receive pay commensurate with work and experience
  • Time blocking – carers aren’t automatically paid for the time they spend with a client if it goes over the window of time initially allocated. Travel time should be included.  National pay rates and adherence to recommended mileage rates
  • Social care staff are asked to do jobs that NHS would supply a band 7 nurse to do but without the same accreditation of learning and comparable pay.
  • The terms and conditions need to be equitable to the NHS and statutory services if we are really going to be working collaboratively, collectively and in an integrated way
  • Challenging to recruit talent – this requires investment. NCS needs to address issue of recruitment and retention. Fixing staff retention is vital and would contribute to solving staff recruitment issues
  • There is a divergence in pay between registered and non-registered services that impacts on retention of workers.
  • Constantly changing carers due to workforce issues negatively impacts on the care experience of the individual
  • Need to work across professions and communicate better, information sharing.
  • Funding gap – third sector provides care but also training for the larger bodies. LAs can afford to pay more than 3rd sector and contributes to difficulties around retaining staff.
  • Frequently care workers are not valued by specialist health workers. Genuine partnership working would be helpful.
  • Difficult to attain level of skill and responsibility at the pay level on offer – expectations of workforce are higher than pay would suggest
  • Social care workers should be integral part of multidisciplinary teams – fair pay helps but role of other professionals and how they perceive the role of social care workers is important
  • Salary minimums should be set nationally with a freedom to pay more in areas where recruitment is a problem. Pay structure with training, inc in service training and pay structure with different levels of qualifications.
  • Carers need paid travel time, paid training, blocked time, emergency situations should not affect your pay packet, paid sick absence, no money to pay anything other than stat sick pay, no money for mat cover. Any increase has been 1% we are not valued by our LA.
  • Currently a lack of training and ways people can move forward and develop their careers. Also inadequate training for dealing with increasingly complex needs of patients/people in their care. A training framework where frontline support workers have a minimum level of training. Need paid training – training is an investment but must be supported by workplace initiatives. Training ppt. that you can take with you when you move roles.
  • Third sector, acting as a training provider as train staff and lose them to LA who can pay more.
  • Carer qualifications that match with the NHS. Training for unpaid carers with access to aids that help home living. Carers and PAs – needs to be considered as a profession with training, and a way of recording that training and qualifications, with career progression
  • SDS – will individual budgets be increased so that PAs can be paid in line too. SDS – some levels limit how much can be paid as an hourly rate
  • Need to be able to have self employed care workers as well as PAs
  • Crisis situation, home carers are the first line of support and often undervalued. Dealing with more and more complex conditions and as the first line and are the first to report issues.
  • Need fully integrated teams, if we were truly working together need system to support that working in the same buildings etc.
  • Stop duplication of paper work assessments by NHS, Council and carer, why can we not take one professionals word for it.
  • Unpaid carers need access to aids as paid carers do, access to training, clear knowledge of where they can get these services.
  • Need direction on prescriptions need one person who is responsible, cares are in a difficult position giving meds.
  • Need to listen to the carers on the ground.
  • Volunteers are a vital part of our workforce.
  • Pay does not reflect the high level decisions carers have to make.
  • Negative stories may have frightened people off from joining the sector.
  • Behavioural challenges workers have pulled out, not had the right support from the care agency.
  • Good SDS budget but cannot employ staff at £9.50 with the right training, cannot pay higher, but offered two carers.
  • Social care workers should be part of multi disciplinary teams no matter who their employer is.
  • Unpaid carers should be seen as a profession, care by family members is specialist care. People are penalised by using family carers, live independently only because of assistance from family. Currently get 15 hours a week but been suggested could get 18+hours a day. Told don’t do 24hrs and residential care is suggested.
  • Family carers should be part of the decision making process too.
  • Needs to be accountability, when things go wrong I am very limited to what I can do, I can complain but there is no enforcement even when complaints are upheld.
  • Often those who take up are retired or semi retired, able to make decision for themselves if they wish to employ a self employed PA.
  • Speed at which SG is looking to bring legislation and make changes, and the potential unintended consequences on the workforce.
  • Residential child care – joined up working we have achieved so far may be lost when part of a bigger system that is at a distance. How can we make sure we keep that when it is managed at a further removed level.
  • Social Care is so divided, all different employers negotiating separately for their own bit of turf.  The NCS should encapsulate the services Social Care supplies. We need national job evaluations on a job by job basis & a fair wage associated to the concluded evaluation placements
  • We absolutely need IT systems that speak to each other. It would save so much time and allow health and social care staff to focus on helping and supporting
  • Budget – option 1 arrangement – there are issues in rural areas in trying to recruit PAs. Many of the folk in rural areas have more than one job and work for themselves to make a living. Some PAs/carers want to continue to be self-employed as it works better for them. Self-employed PAs should be allowed to continue working this way.
  • Concern about speed at which SG is looking to bring in legislation. There is a workforce and capacity issue.
  • Need to support workforce to ensure we don’t lose people  - make sure speed and process of consultation doesn’t lose the workforce. Need to ensure we take action now and don’t wait until the NCS
Back to top