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Five Nations Care Forum Communiqué 11 October 2021

Leaders of care associations in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland met in London on 4 and 5 October 2021, for the first time since the start of the pandemic. http://www.fivenationscareforum.com/

Reflecting on the invaluable role of our care workforce in making a positive difference to the lives of others, and on their vital contribution to economic growth, we renewed our collective commitment to improving their working lives.

Throughout the darkest days of the COVID19 pandemic, care workers kept going, focusing relentlessly on the safety and well-being of others.

Now there is requirement for Governments to engage with this vital healthcare workforce to ensure they are positioned to focus relentlessly on investing in them.

In Scotland and Wales, careworkers have each been given bonuses of £500 or more in recognition of their outstanding commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Northern Ireland there is commitment to do the same. The Governments of England and the Republic of Ireland have declined to acknowledge the exceptional contribution of the care workforce. Whilst the bonuses have been very much appreciated by careworkers, one-off payments of this nature do not solve underlying issues.

Increasing pay, terms and conditions of employment for the workforce, so they are on a par with equivalent roles in State-provided health services is a priority. The pandemic should signal an end to the discrimination applied by Governments towards employees in the independent and voluntary sectors who are fulfilling vital roles in caring for older and disabled people at home or in the community.

News of the Scottish government’s announcement on 5 October 2021 that wages of careworkers in Scotland will rise from £9.50 per hour to £10.02 per hour, equivalent to Band 2 healthcare assistants in the NHS, was warmly welcomed and heralded […]

October 11th, 2021|

Call for an Older Persons Human Rights Convention

1st October 2019: On the UN International Day of Older Persons, 1 October, The Five Nations Care Forum, comprising eight national social care organisations, added their voice to the urgent call for a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

Globally, between 2017 and 2030, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 46 per cent (from 962 million to 1.4 billion).

This day is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and to raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today’s world.

Older people have always played a significant role in society, yet they are at risk of ageism, discrimination, poverty and disability, because their rights are not respected.

Old age is something which should be valued, but societal attitudes fail to recognise the benefits and potential of older persons. Old age is seen as a challenge rather than an opportunity.

Across the UK and Republic of Ireland we join the call, led by HelpAge International, for a new convention on the rights of older people. We believe that this is a crucial way to make sure that all people enjoy their human rights in older age, and on an equal basis with others.


Notes for editors

1. The Five Nations Care Forum enables representative care organisations for England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to explore shared agendas in relation to models of care, registration, regulation and social care policy. For more information see: http://www.fivenationscareforum.com/

2. For further details on the importance of the Convention see: https://www.helpage.org/what-we-do/rights/towards-a-convention-on-the-rights-of-older-people/

3. Enquiries to comms@scottishcare.org / 07584 659995

October 1st, 2019|

Belfast Communique


The Five Nations Care Forum, which comprises representative bodies from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England and the Irish Republic, came together in Belfast to share experiences, and improve the status and recognition of care services.

The forum discussed a range of issues that have significant impacts on the care sector, including, regulation, funding, and the potential impacts of Brexit. These discussions clearly showed there was a commonality of challenges, but also a unity of purpose in confronting them.

The event acknowledged that care services in all countries are under significant pressure, but there was a shared commitment to ensuring that there was better understanding of the role care plays in the lives of all our citizens, and the enormous contribution it makes to both local, and national economies.

Throughout the meeting, there was a strong sense that we must all coalesce to ensure a better understanding of the importance of the care sector; and a hope, that citizens, politicians and the media, will increasingly come to see that social care needs to be regarded as an essential part of the national infrastructure.

The Five Nations Forum has embraced the strapline “Care about Care” and we hope that every citizen and institution will do the same.


May 13th, 2019|
  • Permalink Brexit Puzzle Pieces isolated on white background. 3D renderGallery

    Failure to recognise impact of Brexit on social care presents real risks for our most vulnerable citizens

Failure to recognise impact of Brexit on social care presents real risks for our most vulnerable citizens

Leaders of care provider associations across the UK have come together to express serious concerns about the implications of Brexit on the social care sector in terms of availability of staff and equipment.

The social care sector is heavily reliant on a workforce from across the EU. On any given day over 100,000 staff from across the EU are working tirelessly to support some of the UK’s most vulnerable citizens. Their contribution is vital and valued by those accessing care and support from them. It is currently difficult to recruit sufficient workers to undertake this important but challenging role and we can already see the prospect of immigration rules post-Brexit making it worse.

Care workers are carrying out complex tasks: delivering end of life care, supporting people with advanced dementia and neurological conditions, and working with people with complex mental and physical health needs. The failure to recognise the contribution of this workforce to society as a whole will leave some of the most vulnerable people unable to be discharged from our already overstretched hospitals. The current categorisation of social care staff as “low skilled workers” by the Migration Advisory Committee doesn’t recognise the level of expertise demonstrated by frontline staff 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

We are also concerned about the availability of key resources. For example no continence products are made in the UK and future access arrangements to drugs and radioactive isotopes are unclear. Health and social care providers need guaranteed access to these products to be able to deliver safe, quality, individualised care to some of our most vulnerable citizens.

The government must recognise the interdependencies between the EU and the UK social care sector in ensuring continued access to the […]

October 19th, 2018|

Next meeting October 2018 in Wales

The next meeting of the Five Nations Care Forum will take place Thursday 18th – Friday 19th 2018 October. It will be hosted by Care Forum Wales and will take place in Cardiff, Wales. Further detail will follow.

August 15th, 2018|

Next meeting in England in May 2018

The next meeting of the Five Nations Care Forum will take place Monday 20th to Tuesday 21st May 2018. It will be hosted by Care England and will take place at Down Hall Hotel & Spa, Matching Road, Hatfield Health, Essex, CM22 7AS. Click for further detail.

Five Nations Care Forum Members seeking further detail or to confirm their attendance are asked to email Antonella at acorby@careengland.org.uk.

March 21st, 2018|

Next meeting in Ireland in October

The next meeting of the Five Nations Care Forum will take place Monday 16th  to Tuesday 17th October 2017. It will be hosted  by Nursing Homes Ireland and will take place at Dunboyne Castle, Dunboyne, Co Meath, Ireland.

The venue Eircode is A86 KW94.

Five Nations Care Forum Members can email ea@nhi.ie for further detail.  

July 10th, 2017|
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    Five Nations Care Forum Edinburgh Statement: Severe Underfunding

Five Nations Care Forum Edinburgh Statement: Severe Underfunding

Following a meeting in Scotland, the Five Nations Care Forum is calling for remedial action to the severe underfunding of the social care sector.

People are living longer, often with more complex needs, and demand for care is increasing all the time.

At the same time, the funding of social care across the five nations remains wholly inadequate.  This has resulted in serious constraints on the delivery of social care services to individuals who need state support.

We know that these people want reliable, sustainable services, delivered consistently by people known to them who understand their needs, preferences and aspirations.  The current funding shortage has a number of negative impacts:

State funded support being delivered too little, too late, meaning that opportunities are missed to support people in a way that anticipates their current and future care needs and prevents them receiving inappropriate support
People being admitted to hospital unnecessarily and remaining there too long, resulting in negative impacts on individuals’ health and wellbeing, delays for those who do require hospital support and additional costs being incurred by health services
Staff shortages resulting from low salaries and poor terms and conditions
Providers of social care withdrawing from the market, causing changes in or complete removal of support to individuals who require it
More individuals and their families having to bear the cost burdens and physical, emotional and time outlays of providing care, which will stack up problems for the future.

This is not acceptable for a civilised society – it does not adequately support people’s rights and interests, and undermines the dignity, value and worth of people who need care and support.

Social care is a sector of national strategic importance; being a major employer, providing essential support to […]

March 28th, 2017|

Next meeting Scotland

The next Five Nations Care Forum meeting will take place on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th 28th March 2017 at Norton House Hotel & Spa, Ingliston, Edinburgh EH28 8LX.

It will be hosted by Scottish Care

For information contact; Becca Gatherum, Scottish Care

Email: becca.gatherum@scottishcare.org

March 9th, 2017|
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    Five Nations Care Forum calls for a new look at the role of nursing staff in adult social care

Five Nations Care Forum calls for a new look at the role of nursing staff in adult social care

Developing a new role for 21st century care
The general policy direction of ensuring more people are cared for out of hospital, combined with the growing number of older people with complex care and support needs, means we need to review how we support these people appropriately, whether at home or in care settings. There are difficulties in both recruiting and retaining nurses in adult social care, resulting in high rates of turnover compared with turn over levels in health care settings. The age profile of the nurse workforce in the  adult social care sector is also ageing meaning nurses retiring in the coming years will add to the turnover figures of registered nurses in social care.

The Five Nations Care Forum wants to see –

Positive messages on, and the development of, career opportunities in the adult social care sector including the consideration of new roles to respond to the increasing complexity of people in care services.
A recognition of the work done by nurses in this sector and the importance of them in supporting people to live good lives in their local communities
Funding for social care that allows parity of pay and terms and conditions for nurses working in Adult Social Care as work in the health sector
Increased nurse student places with an emphasis on placements within the independent  Adults Social Care sector
The continuation of nurses on the Migration Advisory Committee Shortage Occupation List (SOL) with the nurse in social care designated as a specific role.
Recognition of the increasing need for a skilled workforce, and a review of the application of the language test for international nurse recruitment.

October 21st, 2016|