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Workforce to Care Force: Who Cares?

Discussion paper | April 2018

A holistic vision about what constitutes a workforce in the care sector, now and in the future, has been presented to IPC by John Bryant, Head of Integration and Development at Torbay Council.

In his discussion paper Workforce to Care Force: Who Cares? he acknowledges that the right workers are at the heart of delivering seamless services to those in need. John supports the notion of breaking down the barriers between NHS employees, local authorities, the private and voluntary sectors and those who care informally, or do so as family members.

He outlines this model as an opportunity for the future, noting that a talented care workforce needs to be based on quality, reliability and affordability, especially in light of increasing pressures on health and social care now and in the coming years.

The paper builds on existing research to explore the current challenges, and highlights the need for a fresh approach. Questions about recruitment and retention are raised. For example, he explores some of the factors relating to why staff opt to leave the care service, including 33,000 nurses who left the NHS in 2016-17. That's an increase of 20% since 2013-14. (NHS Digital, 2018).

According to John, a route to addressing the problems, is through projects such as the ‘Proud to Care South West Campaign’. This partnership involved 16 local authorities and Health Education England working together at a regional level, to raise the profile of careers in care and health. The campaign focussed on three main areas:

  1. Paid Care
  2. Unpaid Care
  3. Community Awareness (Citizen Appreciation)