The Health and Social Care Bill, approved by Parliament last week, could create a brand new landscape for social care. The effect on employment in this sector is still shaking out, but it’s clear the new system will adjust care priorities and shift funding to third-party service providers.
The bill’s passage comes after 14 months of heated parliamentary debate. One key component is that local clinical commissioning groups, led by GPs in most cases, will gain control over £65 billion- more than half of the NHS budget. The commissioning groups are hiring third-party contractors to provide certain health and social care services. These might be huge contracts, such as all children’s health services in a given area, or more targeted programs that might, for example, aim to reduce the need for hospital admissions among nursing home patients.
Private companies are among those gearing up for the raft of potential new contracts - but charities, community groups and social enterprises might also bid for the work and would need to hire new workers to deliver the services.
Martin Garratt, General Manager – BS Social Care observes “There is widespread hope that these changes will enable commissioning groups to review the individual needs of care businesses on a case-by-case basis and support them accordingly. Many of our clients suffer staff shortages - both permanent and temp cover - due to budget allocations so new, localised control could mean that not only could centre’s bring their workforce up to strength – enabling them to give a better level of care – but that there will be more job opportunities for those working 9and wanting to work) in the care sector.”
Critics have charged that the new system will privatise the NHS and fragment services, but others have higher hopes. They say the new system will give local communities greater control over the services provided to their citizens.
Proponents also say the new system allows for greater innovation and progress towards the long-held goal of integrating health services and social care. More than 200 local commissioning groups have formed already.
BS Social Care provides quality permanent and temporary recruitment services to employers of care services and professionals. We are tracking the changes brought by the new NHS reforms and will keep you up to date on the changing environment of the employment market.
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