There could be a 'tsunami' of people not having the care they need unless action is taken to address staff shortages in social care, a watchdog said today.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) warned the health and care workforce was 'exhausted and depleted'.
Its new report called for increased stability in social care and closer working between all parts of the health and care system.
CQC chief executive, Ian Trenholm, said: 'We’re seeing rising vacancy rates, some providers having to hand back their registrations as they don’t have enough staff to deliver care and examples of quality suffering due to lack of staff.
'In order to attract and retain the right people to work in adult social care there must be a sharp focus on developing a clearly-defined career pathway – linked to training, supported by consistent investment, and better terms and conditions and pay.'
The Government yesterday announced a new £162.5m retention and recruitment fund to ‘bolster the dedicated care workforce’.
However, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Cllr David Fothergill, warned the funding would 'not help address the core issue of care worker pay, which needs to be urgently prioritised given pay and conditions are a key factor in recruitment and retention'.