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Measures to boost the social care workforce will be announced today – as it emerged more than 40,000 staff left the sector in six months.

Health minister Gillian Keegan will unveil a ten-year plan with £500million earmarked for ‘workforce development’.

The white paper, called ‘People at the heart of care’, will also promise £300million for supported housing units for the elderly, £150million for digital development and £30million to promote joint working between the NHS and social care.

Health minister Gillian Keegan will unveil a ten-year plan with £500million earmarked for 'workforce development' (stock image)

Health minister Gillian Keegan will unveil a ten-year plan with £500million earmarked for 'workforce development' (stock image)

Health minister Gillian Keegan will unveil a ten-year plan with £500million earmarked for ‘workforce development’ (stock image)

But Richard Humphries, an independent social care expert, said that there is a ‘lack of proper money to tackle long-standing challenges’.

It came as the Nuffield Trust warned there is a ‘deepening crisis’ in social care staffing ahead of a challenging winter. The think-tank analysed Department of Health figures and found the workforce fell from 1,584,535 in the week ending April 27 to 1,542,590 in the week ending October 26.

But it added that this is likely to be an underestimate due to not all providers submitting data.

Natasha Curry, of the Nuffield Trust, said: ‘It’s likely we will see even more care staff leave the sector this winter at the worst possible time.’

The group says the more likely fall over this period is an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 staff – which would equate to the workforce shrinking between 3 and 4 per cent.

It says homecare providers could have been acutely affected, with a loss of almost 11,000 staff over the same period.

But, when adjusting for providers which did not submit data, this could be as high as 30,000.

Ms Curry added: ‘While there has been much attention over winter pressures in hospitals, and even to some degree care homes, a shortage of staff providing care within people’s own homes has been an invisible problem.

‘The home care system is at the point of breaking this winter. There will be far-reaching consequences for people and health and care services if no urgent action is taken.

‘Unfortunately, more people will be unable to access the care they need, more pressure will land on unpaid carers, and problems getting people into appropriate care settings when they come out of hospital will be exacerbated.’

The white paper, called 'People at the heart of care', will also promise £300million for supported housing units for the elderly, £150million for digital development and £30million to promote joint working between the NHS and social care. Pictured: Gillian Keegan

The white paper, called 'People at the heart of care', will also promise £300million for supported housing units for the elderly, £150million for digital development and £30million to promote joint working between the NHS and social care. Pictured: Gillian Keegan

The white paper, called ‘People at the heart of care’, will also promise £300million for supported housing units for the elderly, £150million for digital development and £30million to promote joint working between the NHS and social care. Pictured: Gillian Keegan

Source: Daily Mail UK

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