NCW calls on the government to invest in research, development and innovation in the care sector to build a robust infrastructure for high standards of care. The priority should be to develop a system that provides resident centred care involving relatives and care home staff. The Covid crisis has disproportionately affected residential care homes and led to a loss of confidence. Initial reports suggest that 40% of people over 65 say they are less likely to seek residential care for themselves and 31% of people are less likely to choose care homes for an elderly relative.
For too long care homes have been seen as a Cinderella service. A complex and stressful environment, the estimated staff turnover of directly employed staff working in the adult care sector 2018-19 was 31%. Better training and development along with enhanced career pathways such as high-quality apprenticeships should be prioritised. Research into policy and practice attracts less attention than other parts of healthcare but they deserve an urgent national focus.
Submitted by: Dr Yitka Graham, NCW Individual Member