An army of “super-carers” trained in health and social care will be needed if the government is to meet the rising demand for home care, a study has concluded.
Research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found that the super-carers were needed to improve standards and efficiency, raise the status of the home care workforce and prevent a high turnover of staff.
It also called for a professional body to be launched to represent them.
“Over the past decade, the demand for home care workers to undertake health-related tasks has increased dramatically,” said Colin Angel, head of policy and communication at the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA).
Angel supported the IPPR’s recommendations, adding: “The opportunity for the health service to invest in up-skilling the social care workforce will pay dividends for local communities and the health service.”
The recommendations come a week after the Equality and Human Rights Commission found widespread breaches of the human rights of people receiving home care.
Today’s review also recommended the combining of health and social care budgets to give service users more choice.
“If health and social care services were better integrated, there could be transformation in the social care workforce,” said Jonathan Clifton, research fellow at IPPR. “If we had a high-quality care workforce, older people would be able to make use of personal health and care budgets to shop around with greater confidence.”
The report’s authors also slammed the variability in home care support in London, on which the report focused. The study was funded by the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust.
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