Care England has today noted its disappointment that the health and social care sectors have not been treated with equal parity of esteem. Something that was encapsulated by the Government’s recent decision to increase NHS nurse pay by 3% whilst only offering a 2% for adult social care through the Funded Nursing Care 21/22 increase.
Care England believes, instead, that the two parts of the nursing workforce should have a corresponding uplift. The need for such parity is especially acute given the potential for adult social care nurses to be pulled into the NHS in the event that equality of funding is not established. This lack of parity does not pay sufficient dues to the fact that the adult social care sector’s nurses were, and continue to be, on the frontline in the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst such behaviour by the Government merely entrenches perceptions concerning which sector it prioritises. At the same time, all of this is being played out the adult social care nursing workforce is being subjected to mandatory vaccination, which may have unintended consequences such as increasing the attractiveness of the NHS over social care.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“Despite all the talk of parity and adult social care reform, this action by the Government merely confirms our fear that it still does not value both the NHS and adult social care in an equal manner. Such actions will not serve to assist the adult social care in meeting the 36% increase in its size necessary if the demand for the social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over.”
Care England will continue to campaign to ensure that adult social care nurses have the funding needed to be on a par with their fantastic NHS colleagues.
When the FNC rate was announced earlier this year, Care England noted how the 2% Funded Nursing Care increase was itself incommensurate when considering the plethora of additional costs associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst this action will merely increase the 7% gap between the pay rates for adult social care nurses and the rates available for nurses in the NHS.
Martin Green continues: “With a new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in position, we want to work with him to ensure that social care is once and for all understood and recognised”.