About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Karolina - NACAS

Karolina is a care worker advocating for better treatment of those in the profession.

Who are the National Association of Care and Support Workers?

The movement to improve care work is spearheaded by the National Association of Care and Support Workers which is led by care workers. They have built alliances with senior policy makers and professionals in Care England and the Care Quality Commission, to build a broad coalition for investment in care staff training, development and improved perceptions for the profession.

Half of care staff leave within a year of starting in profession - citing lack of progression and zero hours contracts. Research by the National Association of Care and Support Workers found that the typical care worker’s mental health is negatively affected by their job. Over 60% of respondents either agreed (36%) or strongly agreed (26%) that issues relating to their work have had a negative impact on their mental health – almost three times the number of respondents who claimed it did not.

Further research shows that over half of staff (51.4%) believe their care work does not cover their bills and food. Some 79% of care staff also said they have experienced or felt ‘close to burn out’.

Tackling this health issue

Activity is focused on Professional Care Workers Day each September and on developing online campaigns around a manifesto of demands. NACAS is also actively engaged in advocacy with policy makers and politicians. The group is planning to commission research into the history of care as a profession, to highlight the ways in which the profession has become less valued over time. It is also seeking opportunities to build its membership and online reach.

Care workers are demanding improved pay and conditions that genuinely reflect the hours worked by carers, along with a list of demands around training and support. Find out more about NACAS.