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  • 11 March 2022
  • 3 min read

Should Nursing Students Undertake More Social Care Placements?

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  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk CEO
    • Richard Gill
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Will more social care placements for nursing students help the Government in their aim to further integrate health and social care services?Will more social care placements for nursing students help the Government in their aim to further integrate health and social care services?

Student Nurses should be exposed to care settings through placements, with the aim of encouraging them to contemplate working in the sector, says a Government white paper.

Under government plans to combine health and social care provision, more nursing students will gain experience of adult social care though placements.

By exposing trainee Nurses to social care settings, it is hoped more of them will consider working in the sector, helping create a ‘more agile workforce’ where Nurses can easily move between roles in the NHS and social care.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) white paper states: ‘[the] long-term ambition is for all health undergraduates to experience adult social care, to understand perspectives across sectors, enhance future team working and create a sense of a joint health and social care career structure.’

Do you think that increasing student placements will be enough on its own to encourage more Nurses to work in social care?

An “integrated skills passport” has been proposed as a way to facilitate the smoother movement of staff between the NHS and social care.

Pat Cullen, Royal College of Nursing general secretary and chief executive stated the government would need to deal with the “workforce crisis” facing both health and social care if the plan was to have any chance of succeeding.

“Integrating health and care services is a laudable ambition, and innovations such as single, digital care records can be transformative if accessible 24 hours a day…But for integration to be successful, the workforce crisis in both sectors needs to be addressed in parallel.” she explained.

How significant in persuading more Nurses to work in social care settings could it be if the often-mooted idea of putting those working in social care on the NHS Agenda for Change pay framework was implemented?

The plan to try and increase exposure amongst student nurses to social care settings was conceived as a consequence of ongoing shortages of Registered Nurses working in adult social care settings such as nursing homes. Overall numbers of Nurses working in the sector continue to decline.

A report produced by the charity Skills for Care, revealed there were just 34,000 Registered Nurses working in adult social care in England in 2020-21. This figure was 1800 fewer than the previous year.

Do you think the Government and health leaders sufficiently understand the reasons why the number of Nurses working in adult social care is falling?

The DHSC confirmed Nurses were integral to plans to boost integration and that it was ‘committed to offering all necessary support, training and funding’.

‘We recognise the importance of gaining experience within a social care setting and we will provide these opportunities moving forward,’ a department spokesperson explained.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: “Ensuring our health and care systems work in unison will mean we can support hardworking staff, provide better care to patients and deliver value for the taxpayer.”

The NHS and social care are running on fumes because of workforce and funding shortages. Joined-up working won't happen until ministers stop dodging the issues that really matter. Unison general secretary Christina McAnea

Is the integration of health and social care possible without fundamental, and politically uncomfortable reform of both systems?

And what difference, if any, do you think the additional funding from the 1.25% NI increase will make?

Please let us know what you think in the comments, and Like the article if you found it interesting. Thanks.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk CEO

Helping healthcare organisations attract and retain the best staff so they can deliver great patient care.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk CEO

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Nurses.co.uk CEO

Helping healthcare organisations attract and retain the best staff so they can deliver great patient care.

    • Richard Gill
  • 0
  • 280

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