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Social Care NAO slams Tory failure on care jobs fall

AUDITORS slapped down the Tory government yesterday for failing to come up with a strategy to head off a looming social care staffing shortfall.

The National Audit Office said that, with care worker numbers already at troubling lows and unlikely to match rising demand, there is “no national strategy to address this workforce challenge.”

The report highlighted that, in 2016-17, around half of care workers were paid £7.50 per hour or less — equivalent to £14,625 per annum — which, along with tough working conditions, prevents workers from joining and remaining in the sector.

The NAO has recommended that the Department for Health produce a “robust national workforce strategy” with the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government and encourages local and regional bodies to align their own plans to it.

Care worker union Unison said the report exposed “the government’s lamentable approach to social care,” while Labour MP Barbara Keeley said “the social care workforce remains an afterthought for this complacent Tory government.”

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