Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “People who need social care are at significant risk of not receiving the care they need as a result of failures in funding and workforce planning, as today’s report by the National Audit Office makes clear.

“Social care involves providing personal care to the most vulnerable people in our society to ensure their health and wellbeing needs are met. It is essential for care providers to be able to recruit sufficient care staff to ensure people can be cared for in their own homes or in residential care maintaining their dignity and independence. The continued cuts to local authority budgets have meant that care staff are not being paid at a rate or with terms and conditions that enable care providers to recruit and retain staff. As a career it is therefore undervalued in terms of both esteem and pay and it is no surprise that the turnover and vacancy rates for care staff are so high.

“The pressures on social care funding means that care providers are not able to recruit care staff to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people. This results in people being admitted to hospital because their care needs cannot be provided at home, or to patients' discharge from hospital being delayed because care is not available to be provided at home. People are suffering and losing their independence and right to care in their own homes as a result of cuts to local authority funding.

“More and more people will need social care. The NAO is right to recommend that the Government should plan its workforce properly and invest more in it. Its recent renaming makes this the perfect time for the Department for Health and Social Care to act decisively.”

Notes to editors:

Comment in response to a National Audit Office (NAO) report published Thursday 8 February 2018: 'The adult social care workforce in England'.