Nurses’ pay – Care England calls for parity for social care sector nurses
Following the recent pay award for nurses in the NHS, provider representative body Care England says nurses working in independent care homes seem not to have been given the same priority by the Government: NHS providers will have the cost of the pay award paid directly via the Treasury, care homes with nursing on the other hand will not.
Care England has alerted the health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt and the Department for Health and Social Care that the Funded Nursing Care (FNC), payable for nurse costs in nursing homes, rate for 2018/19 will not meet the huge pressure being felt in the nursing home sector.
“In addition to pay awards, providers are having to respond to the cost of rising dependency of nursing needs of residents,” said Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green.
“Additional costs come from the shortage of nurses, over which we have no control, meaning that recruiting nurses is a costly challenge along with increasing agency costs associated with rising nurse vacancies. The cost of employing nurses is rising with auto pension enrolment and other staff costs which must be met in order to retain our nurses and offer the best employment packages possible. This, linked with the rising number of nursing hours needed to meet care needs, means that central government is not supporting our sector sufficiently.
“The low FNC rate rise will only exacerbate the recruitment and retention challenges our sector is currently facing. The nursing home sector is a vital part of our whole health and social care system and ensures that people, especially older people, are discharged promptly from hospital, but also can ensure people do not enter hospital unnecessarily. However, the sector needs to be funded appropriately to do this and our nurses also deserve a funded pay settlement from government.”