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Nursing in Care Homes

Volume 716: debated on Tuesday 14 June 2022

Nurses play a pivotal role in social care and work hard to deliver high-quality care. Increased funding announced on 11 May for nursing in care homes will support tens of thousands of care home residents with nursing needs, including those with learning and physical disabilities, with a 11% increase in 2022-2023 and an estimated £87 million backdated for 2021-22. Our £500 million workforce reforms will provide a new fund to help nurses to meet their continued professional development objectives.

We have just had Carers Week, in which we recognised the significant contribution of care home staff, domiciliary care workers and unpaid carers. However, I have spoken to care providers in Redcar and Cleveland, so I know that we need to do more to support them, particularly with the recruitment and retention of skilled care workers. Will the Minister come to Teesside to meet me and care providers, and discuss what can be done to support them in their efforts?

My hon. Friend rightly says that our health and social care workforce are our greatest asset; we cannot thank them enough for their extraordinary commitment, working day and night to put people’s care and safety at the centre of everything they do. We accept that there is more to be done to support our adult social care workforce and encourage more people into the sector. Our “People at the Heart of Care” White Paper, backed by our £500 million investment, will develop and support the workforce over the next three years, and help to address long-term structural barriers to recruitment and retention. I would be happy to visit care providers in Teesside with my hon. Friend.

I beg the departmental team to look carefully at something that is close to my heart: AF or atrial fibrillation. In care homes and every nursing setting, we need people to detect the early signs of atrial fibrillation. If it is not detected, it often leads to strokes, which are one of the most expensive things for the NHS to cope with. We do not have enough AF awareness or testing. Can we get a campaign going on the issue?

I am certainly happy to meet the hon. Gentleman to understand more about the issue. At the heart of it, I think, is prevention; we are trying to understand how we can prevent some of what causes greater illnesses later on for those who are in a care home or are receiving social care in their own home. That is certainly a big part of the strategy for our social care reforms.