Agenda item

Workforce Planning - Health and Social Care


The Cabinet Member for Health and Care introduced the report. She highlighted the current challenges on workforce in care, the importance of an attractive recruitment process and retention of staff. She thanked people who work in social care for their efforts and commitment to the people they look after.

The Cabinet Member indicated the need to raise the status of social care and the importance of working together with NHS partners to have coherence and to develop the caring industry. She clarified that NHS staff were employed by the NHS directly and that Adult Social Care workforce were employed by private independent employers and were dispersed in the community and in care homes.

The Cabinet Member stressed the increasing demand on care resources, the need to make best use of resource, to look at assistive technology and digital technology for records to help streamline processes, and to work with care companies on routes and care packages across the County. The Director of Health and Care and the Commissioning Officer responded to questions and provided further context.

Committee noted the following comments and responses to questions:

·         A third of carers had been in the sector for ten or more years. According to the Skills for Care Survey in 2021-22 the number of leavers remaining in the care sector had dropped from 64% to 59% equating to approximately 3000 people leaving the sector. It was acknowledged that post pandemic the wider economy was opening up and people who had been furloughed and working in care were finding other employment.

·         Feedback from the workforce highlighted rates of pay and support in expenses as the main factors for leaving. Career progression was not often identified as a factor.

·         Staffordshire County Council (SCC) was working with NHS colleagues to develop career pathways and explore job roles that could span apprenticeships and working across independent sector, care and NHS.

·         The Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT) hosted the Social Work Learning Academy on behalf of SCC. It supported recruitment and retention of social worker roles and had received positive feedback.

·         The applicant tracking system supported people through the recruitment process, it sent reminders and kept them involved in their application progress.

·         Working in social care was a satisfying vocation for former NHS staff because they could work flexibly and build up relationships with people they cared for.

·         In relation to progressing the development of pathways, the need to create a framework in the independent marketplace and to work with employers was important and potentially a way to improve the quality of care homes.  Assurance was given that there was both commitment and support to move forward with this.

·         Incentives had been extended to care staff and a strategy was being developed from an adult social care workforce perspective, working in tandem with eight key themes, including building career pathways, exploring social care academy, training and development offer for nurses, managers etc., the strategy would be available in February or March 2023. A key success would be that there would be a partnership approach, with the independent marketplace working alongside the Council.

·         Members understood they had a valuable role feeding their local knowledge into developing the care sector and stressed the need for career progression in the care profession.

·         When seeking to understand why people were not going into the care sector, officers working on the strategy and the care market development team found that professional development and pay and benefits were not always known about, an attraction was that people saw the role making a difference to people’s lives and getting job satisfaction.

·         It was found that carers were not all aware of opportunities and benefits already available to them such as access to the blue light card, HWB Hub, VIVup, Thinkwell and NHS discount. Committee agreed to raise awareness of incentives for care workers to make it more attractive.

·         Driving:  When advertising posts, local home care providers often stated it was desirable for applicants to be able to drive. SCC was considering a range of ways for non-drivers to be ready to access carer jobs :– have access to ebikes, supporting people to learn to drive and volunteers to drive carers.


The Chairman thanked the Director for the presentation and staff and carers for the work being done. He complemented the Director on the clarity and detail in the report and indicated that the information in the report gave opportunity for the Committee to interrogate the data and provided Members with an understanding of the actions plan that sat behind the data.


1)   That Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee note the progress report.

2)   That a progress report be requested to a future meeting.


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