The Autumn Statement and Social Care

The social care sector has been on the verge of financial catastrophe for months, and leaders in the sector have long been calling upon the government to provide it with more funding. But the latest spending review from the Chancellor, while offering a small reprieve, will ultimately provide little more than a sticking plaster.

In the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on the 25th November, local councils were given the power to raise funds for social care provision for the elderly, with the chancellor estimating this would boost budgets by £2bn. This is not an adequate solution however, and will fail to provide enough to cover the ever-rising cost of social care, especially as budgets continue to fall under the weight of 56% cuts to local government grants over the next five years.

In response to the news, the Local Government Association has anticipated that care services face a shortfall of more than £2.9bn by 2020 and critics have argued this move will do little to plug the gap. This is particularly true of some Northern Councils where lower council tax bands would see very little raised this way. It comes as yet more bad news for the social care sector; councils already have to find the money to fund an increased national living wage for thousands of care workers – predicted to total around £2bn – with the result that some care providers will go out of business.

Osborne’s move has been branded as ‘smoke and mirrors’ for shifting the burden of paying for social care to local government. The problem remains that there is not enough money in the care system. As highlighted in previous Prestige Nursing + Care blogs, a financially weak social care sector leads to additional pressure on the NHS by contributing to problems such as bed blocking. The NHS simply cannot afford to pick up the slack from a weakened social care sector, regardless of Osborne’s increase to the NHS budget which he also revealed in his Autumn Statement.

In a further blow to the sector, it was also announced that bursaries for trainee nurses will be replaced with loans. Hopeful nurses now face being saddled with thousands of pounds of debt that will take years to pay off, and this could potentially dissuade many from pursuing this career path – doubly concerning in an industry that already faces recruitment challenges. Although the cap of nursing places was lifted, the Chancellor has taken a gamble with the impact these changes will have.

What is clear, therefore, is the social care sector still faces multiple challenges regarding its funding and recruitment. Rather than passing the buck to local government, all groups need to work collaboratively to come up with an overarching solution and a long-term plan rather than a temporary measure.

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Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

Do I need care experience to join?

Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

Do I need a driving licence?

A full clean driving is required for some roles, but not all. Job roles normally state if a driving licence is required, but if you are unsure then please contact the recruitment team on 0808 239 9716.

What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about.

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

You will need to complete both online e-learning modules and virtual training via Microsoft Teams. This is very flexible and can be completed from home as long as you have a compatible device. Find out more about the training we offer.

Is the training free?

Yes, the training is completely free.

Do you offer regular patterns of work?

Yes, our branches offer a wide variety of hours and shift patterns.

Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.