The NHS in Wales and the social care workforce crisis

The current edition of ‘Senedd Research’ highlights two important social welfare issues – namely the serious problems with the Welsh NHS and the social care workforce crisis.  

In relation to the former, the paper notes that ‘Four out of the seven local Health Boards in Wales are currently subject to escalation and intervention arrangements’.  It also refers to 2019 research that ‘highlighted the value of peer challenge, clear objectives and leadership, but also the need to empower the whole system, including middle management and medical staff’.  The paper concludes by questioning whether the action being taken will lead to improvements.  There must be a concern that interventions – necessary as they undoubtedly are – have the unintended consequence of reinforcing problematic ‘command and control’ managerial cultures within these bodies (ie to enable the health board to exit these special measures) – with the risk that as a consequence middle management and staff at the ‘coal face’ are disempowered and peer challenge stifled.

In relation to the social care workforce crisis the Senedd Research paper is clear that there is a crisis and that its root cause is a lack of appropriate pay / conditions.  As the paper notes, the consequences of this problem (as it has ever been thus in social care) is that it leads to ‘unpaid carers having to take on the burden, at a time when many are already struggling’.

In these papers, Senedd Research is fulfilling its role – to provide valuable ‘impartial’ and ‘authoritative information’ on the latest topics under consideration at the Welsh Parliament.  To access the paper on the Welsh NHS click here and for the social care workforce crisis paper click here.

Photograph of ‘Adleyrchion-Gwynant’ by Richard Jones -@lluniaurich

Posted 15 April 2022

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