On 20th May 2020 a Government statement was given in the virtual House of Lords regarding care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, we know how crucial the social care sector is, and the huge challenges it faced even before Covid-19, with 120,000 care assistant vacancies. Can the Minister therefore respond to the excellent suggestion from the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury that we establish a royal commission on social care, not to blame but to learn, so that we have the right information to make the right decisions and provide the right services for these most vulnerable people?
Lord Bethell: My Lords, this Government have already made a very clear commitment to review the social care sector; that was made before coronavirus. The experience of coronavirus will no doubt put a massive spotlight on our provision for social care. It is entirely right that we review all of our arrangements. The vacancy question that the right reverend Prelate raises is an important one, and that is why we have launched a massive recruitment campaign, and why we have brought in minimum wage legislation which has seen rises in the pay of social care workers that are historically at the high end.