Thank you for contacting me about care workers.
As an NHS Doctor I know first-hand that the work carried out by carers is absolutely vital, ensuring that people who need support are able to live full, rewarding lives.
Whilst some 1.6 million people work in healthcare, an increase of 22.1% in 10 years, I was pleased that, during 2019, the Government launched the 'Every Day is Different' campaign, to recruit more staff to the care sector and provide further information about the different types of work carers do, and what qualifications might be required for each role.
Since 2015 local councils, and in our case Suffolk County Council, have had greater flexibility over the use of what is called the council tax social care precept, so they can choose to raise extra money, as well as retain savings from the New Homes Bonus, totalling £240 million to spend on social care. In the Spending Round in September 2019, an extra £1.5 billion was made available by the Government to councils for adult social care services. This extra funding should be viewed as a significant down payment as we move towards a long term funding solution.
During the 2019 General Election Campaign the Conservative Manifesto made clear that we must build the same level of political consensus on social care funding that we have already built on the NHS, across political parties, so that an answer can be brought forward that solves the problem, commands the widest possible political support, and stands the test of time. So I would urge my colleagues and constituents of all political beliefs to take part in a conversation about establishing a care system fit for the 21st century. As part of this process, it will be essential to further consider care workers' pay.
As a practising NHS doctor, this is a subject that matters to me greatly and I will continue to monitor this issue closely, and would be proud to speak up on behalf of care workers as part of this debate.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.