Gillian Keegan MP

Minister for Care and Mental Health

Department of Health and Social Care

39 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0EU

 

Sent via email

 

Our Ref: 20211203JC

 

Friday, 03 December 2021

 

Dear Gillian,

 

We are writing as Members of Parliament representing constituencies in Sheffield. We have recently been contacted by the Chair of the Sheffield Care Association about the challenges facing care homes across the city, and indeed nationwide, and we wish to bring these concerns to your attention.

 

We are deeply concerned by the current pressures on care homes. There is fear surrounding their sustainability beyond March 2022, when the grant funding many homes have been relying on ceases. This comes as many homes struggle to recruit staff which has left them struggling.

 

It is abundantly clear that these structural issues will not be alleviated without government intervention to encourage more people into the sector. The average rate of pay for a care worker is £8.91 an hour which falls below many jobs in other sectors such as retail. Hence, a better rate of pay and an improvement in conditions are vital changes which we urge you to set in motion.

 

As well as this, the National Care Association has recommended a series of additional measures to ease the shortage of care workers. This includes greater incentives on training and career development as well as a publicity drive to highlight the rewards of working in the care sector. We strongly encourage you to look carefully at these proposals.

 

We must bring about a cultural shift whereby care workers are properly valued for their vital contribution to society and end the cycle of care homes lurching from one staffing crisis to another.

 

Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to care homes and shone a light on the existing challenges they face. We all spent much of last year on our doorsteps clapping for carers, but still care workers are underpaid and working in unbelievably difficult circumstances. We urge you to do more across government to give care workers the recognition they deserve and work to alleviate current staffing issues as a priority.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Clive Betts MP

 

Member of Parliament for Sheffield South East

 

 

Olivia Blake MP

 

Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam

 

 

Paul Blomfield MP

 

Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central

 

 

Gill Furniss MP

 

Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough

 

 

Louise Haigh MP

 

Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley

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