Letter to the Minister of State (Minister for Care): Including self-employed people delivering front-line care in the social care workforce
Sian Lockwood, Chief Executive of Community Catalysts, has sent the following letter to Rt. Hon. Helen Whately MP Minister of State (Minister for Care) requesting the inclusion of self-employed people delivering front-line care in the social care workforce.
I am the Chief Executive of a social enterprise called Community Catalysts. We are a capacity building organisation, working with public sector partners to help local people use their energies and talents to deliver sustainable social care and health support and services for other local people. These services are very small-scale but together have significant impact. Over 10 years we have worked in 93 local authority areas, supporting the development of nearly 4000 of these community micro-enterprises, who between them support over 16,000 people. The enterprises that we have supported remain in contact with us through our membership website www.smallgoodstuff.co.uk
While community micro-enterprises can and do deliver a very wide range of services, there has been growing interest from local authorities in their potential to deliver care at home to people in geographically or socially isolated communities. Consequently about 40% of our members are delivering care to people at home and are part of the front-line of carers working to support people during this pandemic. They, like other social care workers, have been struggling to access PPE.
Community Catalysts and its members very much welcomes the governments’ new focus on social care and your recognition of the value and importance of the social care workforce. The newly-published action plan however appears to assume that the ‘social care workforce’ is limited to people employed by organisations or by individuals (personal assistants) and does not take account of the many self-employed people delivering vital front-line social care services. These community micro-enterprises are typically sole traders delivering care and support services directly to a small number of people in their neighbourhood and are not (cannot be) registered with the Care Quality Commission. We are concerned that the access routes to local supports including PPE and the CARE badge may inadvertently exclude these vital front-line workers. We are also concerned to ensure that the much-welcomed recruitment drive should include recruitment into self-employment so that the widest-possible range of people are attracted into social care
I would be grateful for your confirmation that self-employed people delivering front-line services, who cannot be registered with CQC, will be included in your definition of the social care workforce and will have the same access as employed social care workers to local supports, PPE and the CARE badge. In addition I strongly recommend that the planned recruitment drive includes recruitment into self-employment.
Do please contact me if you would like any more information or would like to discuss any of this further.