Health and care staff have been invited to take part in an engagement exercise launched by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock.

Speaking at Southmead Hospital Bristol yesterday (Monday 10 September), the MP for West Suffolk set out plans to give all 3.1 million health and care staff in England the opportunity to give their views on the jobs they do.

He launched a digital platform called ‘TalkHealthandCare’, which staff can use to post ideas, questions and challenges for the Government. It will be updated in real-time and supported by events, forums and webinars for staff.

Hancock said: ‘It’s time we hear from health and care staff about what they really have to say about the jobs that are at the heart of this country.’

Among the issues that the platform will be seeking views on include improving shift patterns and juggling home and work lives, speeding up the use of technologies which cut out paperwork and give staff time back, and training and development.

The secretary of state also expressed concern about the high number of reports of bullying and harassment in the health and care sectors.

The Department of Health and Social Care is also launching a workforce panel made up of staff, which Hancock will meet with.

Welcoming the consultation, Glen Garrod, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services president, said: ‘Social care staff deserve recognition and reward for the vital work they do helping to meet people’s needs and enhance their quality of life. They need to be supported in their work and this includes listening and acting on their views because winning the hearts and minds of the workforce is vital to help meet the needs of people requiring care.

‘We encourage as many people as possible to engage in this consultation to help provide better care for everyone who needs it.’

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Local Government Association community wellbeing board chairman, added: ‘The social care workforce often feels undervalued, both in general but also in comparison with their NHS colleagues, and we hope this consultation will signal a move from the secretary of state to change that.’