Commission on the Future of the Home Care Workforce

In a society facing demographic shift, we are at a crucial point in planning to care for increasing numbers of older and disabled people in their own homes.  While it has widely been accepted that a focus on outcomes and well-being in commissioning is the way forward we need a workforce that is capable and empowered.

The Mears/LGiU Outcomes Matter report and related roundtables on effective domiciliary care commissioning clearly highlighted that a skilled and motivated workforce is essential to delivering quality care.  Many existing contracting and commissioning arrangements are rightly focused on having predictable and controllable costs for local authorities, but are they fit for purpose in ensuring consistent care or developing a skilled and stable workforce?

The Burstow Commission , chaired by the Rt Hon Paul Burstow , MP, former Minister of State, Department of Health has been established to look at workforce issues and produce clear recommendations in the Autumn of 2014.

What the Commission is doing:

The Commission will take a fresh look at these issues and will seek to understand and integrate the perspectives of all the major players in the system: local authorities, providers and most importantly service users, their carers and care workers themselves.

The Commission will be informed by a series of interviews and this call for evidence.   This will inform the direction of a series of oral evidence sessions over the summer – hearing from providers, trade unions, professional bodies, local authority commissioners, social and care workers and service users.  It will seek to understand their aspirations for the work force, the barriers that stand in the way and ideas for innovation, progress and improvement.

The Commission will seek to clearly outline the issues and make clear recommendations for improving commissioning practice, provision and outcomes for service users.

Who’s on the Commmission:

  • Chair: Paul Burstow, MP
  • Sarah Newton, MP
  • Cllr Anne Brown, Essex
  • Cllr John Pantall, Stockport
  • Cllr Gwen Hassall, Stoke
  • Kevin Rowan, TUC
  • Clare Pelham, Chief Exec Leonard Cheshire
  • James Cuthbert, Hammersmith and Fulham

Call for evidence

The call for evidence closed on 12 June 2014. We invited responses from local authorities, government departments, professional bodies and unions, service providers, service users and their representative bodies and individuals with a stake in improving workforce matters.  Submitted evidence can be found here.

  • What would an ideal home care workforce would look like?
  • What keeps us from having that ideal workforce now?
  • How can we get past existing barriers to achieve a workforce that can deliver high quality care in people’s homes?

The Commission is particularly keen on hearing about:

  • Outcome focus and innovation
  • Zero hours contracts
  • Terms and conditions
  • Travel to work pay
  • Skills
  • Staff churn and care consistency
  • Effective care commissioning
  • The interaction between home care workers and the user’s social support network

The Commission would also be grateful to receive pointers to existing research, documentation or work programmes examining these and related issues.

Download the call for evidence Home Care Workforce Call for Evidence (PDF document)

Responses can be returned to [email protected] or via the online form or join our mailing list if you’d just like to stay informed.