The social care sector will continue to struggle to recruit and retain nurses unless pay is increased in line with what they can earn in the NHS, according to new analysis that warns of a £4.4bn funding shortfall. Poor pay and conditions for nurses working in social care in England are a major threat to the quality of care and future sustainability of the sector, said the Health Foundation in a report. More than 40,000 nurses work in adult social care but almost a third are estimated to have left their role within the past 12 months. A key reason for problems with recruitment and retention was the fact wages are low and below equivalent salaries in the NHS, said the analysis. According to the think tank’s document there is a 7% gap between the pay rates for adult social care nurses and the rates available for nurses in the NHS.