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More concerns on the horizon for social care services and private providers

14 October 2019

In a survey conducted by Unison this summer more than half of our social workers say they are considering leaving the profession for a less stressful position.

Of 1,000 social workers surveyed 55% said they were thinking of quitting their roles.

What lies behind this? Social workers give a number of reasons including austerity, an inability to perform their jobs properly, unmanageable workloads and working unpaid overtime to overcome some of this.

Some social workers and their colleagues working in the social care sector are probably disheartened by the content of the yellowhammer contingency plan released MPs voting to force its release.

Key points of the plan recognise risks including shortages of food leading to food price increases, medical supply chains being affected and providers of social care in the adult sector failing.

All these issues impact the wider community but will be felt most by the vulnerable and elderly; the section of the community which most often relies on input from their local authority social services departments. This will in no doubt put further pressure on these services.

Whilst the horizon therefore looks rather bleak there is help available to plan for the impact of Brexit. There is advice available on the Department of Health and Social Care’s website for a no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019 in relation to adult social care providers.

Whilst the guidance relates to the adult social care sector the themes running through it are worth considering across all health and social care providers. In particular an assessment of the risks and contingency plans to meet a no-deal Brexit are going to be essential in the coming weeks. Preparation is key. Even though the situation remains fluid plans cannot be left too late.

Given that care is a highly connected sector, these Brexit preparations need to extend to a consideration of external dependencies. Engagement between organizations directly or via core contractors will allow the risks to be identified and options for mitigation to be considered.

Mitigation may include consideration of contractual relationships and terms, and Browne Jacobson’s Brexit Hub includes guidance on contract issues likely to arise in connection with Brexit as well as other useful guidance.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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