Workers prefer supermarket jobs to low-paid care sector

(This article was published by The Times)


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Situation in A&E worse than during Covid peak, say doctors, as care homes run short of staff

An exodus of social care staff to better-paid jobs in supermarkets, retail and hospitality is fuelling the worst NHS crisis since records began.

Leading doctors told The Times that the “frightening” situation in A&Es was now worse than during the Covid peak but said the solution was to “give money to social care — not us”.

Social care is due to receive only £5.4 billion of the government’s new £36 billion package for healthcare reform, funded through a rise in national insurance that was introduced this month.

NHS chiefs warned that the “bottleneck” in hospitals would deteriorate further unless social care capacity was increased so that patients could be safely discharged from wards.

Medical organisations said it was vital that carers receive a pay rise so they earn more than they would “stacking shelves in Tesco”.


Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “The state of social care in England is a scandal … many of the problems in hospitals are to do with social care provision. Thousands cannot get out of hospital because of the lack of social care.”

This was being “exacerbated by wage inflation in sectors that compete with social care” such as supermarkets, courier services and Amazon, he told a Radix Big Tent event.


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Eleanor Hayward

Health Correspondent

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