Commenting on the Home Secretary’s announcement of a new points-based immigration system, and the need for overseas workers in the NHS and social care, Suzie Bailey, Director of Leadership and Organisational Development at The King’s Fund said:
‘While it’s positive that the government recognises the need for overseas workers to help plug the significant gaps in the NHS workforce, there is a disappointing lack of consideration given to social care. The NHS workforce is only half the story; with more than 120,000 vacancies in social care, many people are struggling to access the support they need to live independently and avoid long stays in hospital.
‘In the absence of supportive immigration policies, the social care sector would need to significantly improve care worker pay and conditions to attract more home-grown staff. That will require an immediate funding boost, a comprehensive plan for sustainable staffing, and for the Prime Minster to deliver on his commitment to “fix social care once and for all”.’
The King’s Fund is an independent charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England.
Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, responds to the Government’s plan for a points-based immigration system.
“Reform of our immigration system provides an opportunity to try and tackle skills gaps and workforce challenges in specific sectors such as construction and social care.
“Salary thresholds should be variable across sector and region, to reflect the needs of different employers, alongside a reformed and devolved skills and employment system to tackle the existing national skills shortages.
“As a country we face significant skills challenges. The social care system faces one of the most serious challenges and any reforms need to ensure the social care workforce can be maintained.“