90,000 care workers needed immediately if manifesto pledges are to be met!


New analysis reveals that up to 90,000 home care workers for the over 65s are needed immediately if the main parties’ manifesto pledges to expand and reform social care are to be met.


In a new briefing the Nuffield Trust finds that there are around 165,000 over 65s in England who need help at home with three or more basic daily activities like getting dressed, washing and eating, but are not currently receiving it from professionals, family or friends. [1]


The Nuffield Trust says that expanding social care to this group is implicit in both the Labour party’s pledge for free personal care for over 65s and the Conservative party’s principle to ‘give every person the dignity and security that they deserve’, despite the lack of concrete proposals in the latter’s manifesto. [2]


Researchers took the average number of hours of home care that people currently receive and calculated the number of hours a full time worker would need to deliver care for the 165,000 over 65s not currently receiving care. This revealed that just providing one hour of care per day to this group would require a minimum of 48,000 home care workers, rising to just under 90,000 home care workers for two hours of care a day.


It also argues that politicians must urgently put in place plans to expand and retain the care workforce by:

·         Making drastic improvements to pay, working conditions and training opportunities in order to make care work an attractive career

·         Ensuring any future migration system does not restrict social care staff from entering the country to work after Brexit and instead ensures government can actively attract the staff the sector so badly needs

·         Helping the millions of people who care for friends and family, by promoting policies that support people financially and balancing work with caring for an older or disabled relative.

The briefing also says that a radical overhaul of the way social care is funded is needed to protect people against catastrophic costs and provide a sustainable social care system.


Commenting on the briefing, Natasha Curry, Deputy Director of Policy at the Nuffield Trust said:


“Despite the extremely disappointing lack of concrete proposals to pay for social care in the Conservative manifesto, it is clear that all parties quite rightly wish to expand the current paltry system. Caring for people who are currently struggling with no support will take time, money and – crucially – thousands more home care workers.


“We must be prepared to hire and hold on to much-needed social care workers from home and abroad – and that means being open to so-called ‘low-skilled migration’. Without doing this it will be impossible to expand social care to those who need it.


“Whoever is Prime Minister on 13th December needs to grasp the nettle and put forward clear proposals for funding and staffing social care if thousands of people are not to continue to suffer.”



  1. Yes, there is a drastic shortage of care workers all over the UK, but this is not restricted to just the elderly. For there are adults at all age ranges and even children who have care needs which are not being met. Yes, currently the elderly are the largest group, but there are increasing numbers of persons with various condition, which include Learning Disabilities, Autism and others, both adults and children.

    Also, now, many of the adults with these conditions are living into the elderly age ranges, thus not only requiring help because of age, but also many deteriorating conditions. The children withy these conditions are now increasingly living into adulthood and thus living longer, with many having multiple conditions.

    So, there is also a staff shortage in all care areas, so the lack of care workers is far in excess of the 90,000 quoted.

    I have been involved with the care of my daughter for at least the last 40 years and there has always been a shortage of care being provided.

    However, the care being given, is not always of good quality, in some instances of very poor quality, thereby causing an increase of safeguarding alerts.

    But there is an under reporting of poor care and many receiving poor care are reluctant to bring this to any attention, for they fear losing the care completely, because it is not only a fraction of poor care workers being employed, but the quality of some of the care provider agencies leave a lot to be desired.

    So, in affect, the number of care workers, not only needs to be increased to provide an increase in the quantity of care, but also the quality.

    You may say, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are monitoring the quality of care, but are they. From my own observations, the CQC are more concerned about record keeping as though if a record says good quality care is being provided, then good quality care is being provided. While, in reality bad care can be being delivered, even though the records say differently, becuse the monitoring of actual care delivery is not being done, or if it is, not consistently and not to the degree that it should be.

    You say where is the evidence and I would refer you to the published incidents of Winterbourne View, Woollaton Hall and others, and also others still to surface.

    I would wish to bring to your attention, my petition, ‘Solve the crisis in Social Care’, https://www.dropbox.com/s/w0f2skyxy37udqb/Solve%20the%20crisis%20in%20Social%20Care.docx?dl=0, or direct to the petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/236151


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