Care England has called for wage parity for social care nurses following the recent pay award for nurses working in the NHS.
The representative body highlighted that care homes must fund nurse pay increases either through CCG contracts, which have been often set at rates of 0-0.1% for 2018/19, or via Funded Nursing Care from the government, which has increased by just 2% in 2018/19.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “In addition to pay awards, providers are having to respond to the cost of rising dependency of nursing needs of residents.
“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 mean that central government is not supporting our sector sufficiently.”
Care England has alerted the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the DHSC that the 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.
Martin added: “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.”