Care England has warned over a lack of parity between the health and social care workforce following recent wage rises for NHS staff.
The representative body said that, while welcome, recent pay awards for NHS staff were having unintended consequences for the social care workforce.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, who was speaking in the wake of the Low Pay Commission’s consultation on April 2019 National Minimum Wage Rates, said: “Independent sector providers place great value upon the contribution of their staff, their biggest resource.
“Whilst pressures on costs may limit flexibility in terms of remuneration, many providers are engaging innovative ways to recognise staff contribution, create staff loyalty schemes and develop new career pathways such as nursing associate role or staff award schemes.”
Care England said recent NHS pay awards, with the lowest paid workers now receiving £18,000 per year, compared with social care workers on the National Living Wage, created a lack of parity between health and social care workers and unhelpful competition between the two sectors.
Martin added: “Providers are expecting higher staffing costs whilst demand continues to increase. In order to manage this, providers may have to reduce capacity for publicly funded residents meaning demand will not be able to be met. This in turn will put more pressure on the NHS.”