Care sector satisfaction levels hit record low
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Public satisfaction with social care services has fallen to its lowest-ever recorded level, according to research released last month.

Figures from the British Social Attitudes survey, published jointly by the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund, show just 13 per cent of respondents were either “very” or “quite” satisfied with social care services.

In contrast, 57 per cent of respondents said they felt either “dissatisfied or “very dissatisfied”.  The main reasons given for discontent were inadequate training, pay and working conditions for social care workers; people not getting the social care required; and lack of support for unpaid carers.

Simon Bottery, senior fellow in social care at The King’s Fund, said: “These are awful results, but they are sadly unsurprising. For many years governments have taken too little action on social care and this is now seriously affecting those who draw on services, the families who support them and the staff who work in the sector.

“People realise that too many people fail to receive the social care support they need, putting an unfair requirement on unpaid carers, and that staff are overworked and underpaid.”

Commenting on the survey findings Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, social care spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA), said the results were “very worrying” for councils, care providers and anyone who relied on the care system.

She added: “We need to see further urgent investment in adult social care and a boost to the workforce, to ensure the best possible care for those that draw on it.”

The survey follows in the wake of a recent warning from Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) stating “chronic understaffing, rising waiting lists and patchwork funding” in the care sector were placing local authorities under “sustained financial pressure”.

The committee highlighted that the sector, which employs in the region of 1.6m people, now has around 152,000 vacancies, while plans to counter this shortfall were “woefully insufficient to the scale of the task”. 

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