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The Friday Five: Social Care (24/11/23)

It’s time for another social care edition of the Friday Five, where we round up some of the biggest stories from the week just gone. Social care professionals are busy at the best of times, and we know you haven’t got time to be scrolling and scrolling for the latest news content. That’s why we do it for you. Let’s dive in…  

1. Local Authorities and Care Leaders Disappointed by Autumn Budget

Jeremy Hunt announced his Autumn Budget this week, and local authorities and care leaders were disappointed to see no funding in areas they thought most needed it.  

The Local Government Association (LGA) said, “It is hugely disappointing that today’s Autumn Statement has failed to provide funding needed to protect the services the people in our communities rely on daily.”  

Similarly disappointed was Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, who said, “What was overlooked was that the adult social care sector contributes more than £50bn to the economy per annum. The people receiving care and support, the staff and the taxpayers all feel the effects of the instability of our sector.”  

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, said, “Even though the rise in minimum wage is thoroughly welcome and deserved, without additional funding the cost of providing, or buying social care, will be going up … Boris Johnson was cheered by his colleagues when he pledged to ‘fix the crisis in social care’ some four and a half years ago but today’s Statement was a reminder of how desperately short the Government has fallen.” 

2. Increase in National Living Wage

The Government has announced a record boost to the National Living Wage, with a full-time worker on the NLW earning just under £21,000 annually. The figure is rising from £10.42 to £11.44, representing an annual increase of more than £1,800 for full-time workers. This equates to a 9.8% increase overall.

3. Autumn Budget Includes Strict Reform on Welfare System

The Chancellor has been accused of targeting disabled people in his crackdown on benefits, outlined in the Autumn Budget.  

Within the budget, Mr Hunt announced that those who didn’t look for work for six months would have their benefits stopped as part of reforming the welfare system. Meanwhile, those benefits recipients who don’t secure employment within 18 months will have to do compulsory work experience.  

James Taylor, from disability charity Scope, told Sky that “Today, the chancellor doubled down on a plan that will ramp up sanctions and demonises disabled people.”

4. Government Wanting to Limit Foreign Worker Visas

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has called on the Prime Minister to ban foreign social care workers from bringing family members with them, as well as limiting the number of social care visas being granted, in an attempt to curb immigration figures.

5. New Scheme to Boost Social Care Nurses’ Wellbeing

A new clinical supervision scheme has been set up to boost wellbeing for social care nurses. The scheme, which has been set up by the Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS) and is being funded by NHS England, will help participating nurses better recognise and understand their own emotions and those of others and how to respond more positively to those emotions.

Final Thoughts  

That’s your social care Friday Five for another week finished! Hopefully, you’ve found it informative, interesting and easy to digest. We’ll be back for another Friday Five soon, but until then, look after yourself!     

Carry on reading