Today in Parliament, Tiverton & Honiton MP Richard Foord co-sponsored a bill alongside other Liberal Democrat MPs that aims to tackle the crisis in social care by recruiting and retaining care workers, as well as paying them a fair wage.  

In the last few years, the number of vacancies in care has risen to 165,000. The Health and Social Care Committee anticipates a further 490,000 carers will be needed by the early part of the next decade.

While the Care Quality Commission reported last year that over 87% of care providers were experiencing recruitment challenges.

The Lib Dem bill, tabled by North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan, would require the Secretary of State to publish and implement a Care Workers Employment Strategy. This would identify where and why shortages exist and the areas of greatest need, and how to resolve those shortages.

It would also identify the causes of poor retention and slow recruitment and tackle the importance of pay, something Richard Foord says is ‘crucial’ to ensuring people can get quality care when they need it.

Mr Foord said: “This Conservative Government has repeatedly promised to fix social care, yet all people have got is another broken promise.

“So many older and vulnerable people are struggling to get the care they need to live a dignified and independent life. They are also seeing costs spiral, with them left paying the price for Government inaction.

“Fixing our broken social care system should be at the top of this Conservative Government’s agenda. It’s clear they cannot be trusted to provide everyone with the high-quality social care they need. It’s time for change.

“That’s why I have co-sponsored a bill to force the Government to improve conditions for carers, provide training, and recognise the vital work carers do. This is crucial to ensure people can get the quality care they need.

“For too long carers have been neglected and taken for granted. Everyone should be able to live independently and in dignity, and all care workers should receive the recognition and pay they deserve.”