Source: The King's Fund/The Nuffield Trust
Researched and published by the King's Fund and Nuffield Trust, the report - titled 'Social Care for Older People; Home Truths' - identifies that one third of nurses in the sector left their post over the past 12 months, resulting in a staff shortage of nine percent.
Reasons for this include the lack of a clear career progression path for sector workers, fierce competition with the NHS to source qualified staff for positions, and increased workloads due to declining numbers of district and community nurses.
Organisations including the report's authors and the College of Occupational Therapists are urging the Department of Health to address the worker shortfall by working in partnership with local authorities, NHS England and independent sector organisations.
The report highlights six areas in the sector requiring attention, including adopting a more asset-based care approach, creating a workforce fit for purpose and better integrating health and social care services.
Other problematic areas identified include sustaining quality of care despite financial pressures, increasing staff training standards and the maintaining staff-to-patient ratio.
Julia Skelton, Director of Professional Operations at the College of Occupational Therapists, stated that without raising debate surrounding the state of adult social care, the future's sector would be "stark."
She went on to advocate allocating more funding to address the needs of growing numbers of patients with long-term conditions, including dementia, arguing that such a pressing issue cannot simply be ignored.
"The Care Act in England brought welcome legislative reform and a commitment towards a preventative, assets based approach to care," she said. "It is vital we underpin this commitment with adequate funding and the right workforce both now and in the longer term."
"There needs to be greater integration across the system including NHS, public health and welfare, and an embedded preventative-approach.
"It is really key that we review our workforce to make much better use of occupational therapists and allied health professionals to reduce delayed transfers of care and ensure there is adequate support at home and in the community, including reablement and intermediate care services.
"Without this, the NHS’s work will be undone."
Click this link to read the report.