The Department of Health and Social Care is looking to “raise the image and the profile” of the sector as it struggles to address a gap of over 11,000 nursing vacancies.
“We recognise the social care system is under pressure due to an ageing population and we’re committed to reforming it to ensure it is sustainable for the future,” its spokeswoman said.
The campaign will have its work cut out. Social care jobs in the UK have a vacancy rate of around 6.6% – compared to a labour market average of 2.5% – while the number of jobs has increased 21% since 2009.
Rachel Gilbert, Director of Quality and Governance at private social care provider Care UK, says a more positive portrayal of care work is needed as aged care homes support more people with serious, chronic health conditions.
“Many of these conditions, which would previously have seen people being nursed in hospital, are now being managed by the nursing team in care homes,” she said.
She wants financial support for nursing students from the Government to be reinstated and more incentives for former nurses to return to the job such as a one-off grant.