Dimensions have created a new workforce manifesto calling on the government to alleviate the recruitment and retention crisis in adult social care. 

The learning disability services provider has set out five key points that it believes will help resolve the staffing crisis hitting the health and social care sectors. 

This includes benchmarking minimum support worker pay at NHS Band 3 so that support workers are paid a minimum of £10.40 per hour with higher rates paid according to the complexity of a person’s individual support needs.

Other points include: establishing a Skills Framework, preparing people for work, targeting integrated health and care, and undertaking an annual workforce plan for social care.

More than half a million people are now waiting for an adult social care assessment

It says that in the first three months of 2022, 170,000 hours of home care per week could not be delivered due to staff shortages, a sevenfold increase on the same period last year. 

At the same time, demand for services is increasing unabated. More than half a million people are now waiting for an adult social care assessment, while the social care sector faces having to employ double its current share of the working-age population to fulfil demand by 2033.

It believes that without urgent action, the staffing situation is only going to get worse, with devastating consequences for those who rely on support. 

Rachael Dodgson, Chief Executive of Dimensions, said: “Every day thousands of support workers help people to gain choice, control, and agency over their life. They undertake complex delegated nursing tasks, tackle the causes of distressed behaviour, and support employment. They are skilled, professional workers. 

“Yet many of them are going to leave the sector, not because they don’t love their job but because they have their own families to think about. Few people are in a position to stay in one job when there are better paid alternatives available. As a result, organisations across adult social care are struggling to recruit and retain high-quality staff. 

“We hope that this five-point plan provides the government with a simple blueprint for resolving the staffing crisis and delivering measurable, accountable improvements in the quality and quantity of adult social care in this country. This is a goal towards which every provider strives, and we have collectively urged the government for some time to do more to meet this aim. For the sake of those who rely on the sector, we simply cannot delay any longer.”