At the 150th TUC Congress in Manchester, Community’s Vice President, Ross Clark, spoke about the challenges faced by care workers across the UK.
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“Under paid and over-worked, racing between visits, no guaranteed working hours, cutting appointments short to earn the ‘national living wage’.
“Conference, this is just a day in the life of a care worker.”
“From funding, to employment contracts, to well-being and mental health, it’s clear that health and social care in the UK is facing a crisis.
“The social care funding gap is projected to reach £2.1 billion by 2020. This is when we will also need 420,000 more care workers to meet the needs of an ageing population.
“To solve these challenges, the government has to stop treating social care as an afterthought. That means they have to start understanding the social care profession, and stop underfunding it.
“We have seen 8 years of this Tory government making cuts to council budgets, which is shattering our social care system. And this chronic underfunding has seriously harmed the sector’s recruitment ability, with less people looking at care work as a career option.
“Conference, let me say this loud and clear. Social care is a profession and a career of choice for many. But you don’t feel like a professional, when there’s no effective or accredited training. When every care provider you work for insists you can’t start work until you’ve completed their training course, regardless of who you’ve worked for before or your experience.
“Care workers deliver the services this country desperately needs, and care workers deserve the right support and recognition for what we do. That’s why we’re working with the National Association of Care and Support workers: to give them a voice, to campaign for recognition of their profession and to win the long-term funding settlement social care the country needs.
“Because, Congress, care workers play a crucial role for our families and loved ones across the country, Our care workers love how rewarding their work is, where they can have a meaningful impact on others.
“Let’s fight for a better deal for care workers, where they are properly funded. And for a social care sector that’s respected, supported and valued. Please support.”