Social care leaders have voiced their anger after care home nurses were excluded from new continuing professional development (CPD) packages.
Nursing Times revealed that the £1,000 CPD packages, which were originally announced by former Chancellor Sajid Javid in September, would be limited to people employed by the NHS.
Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, said: “Giving extra resources to the NHS is futile if they are not matched in the social care sector; they are two sides of the same coin. Social care staff need access to the same pay and conditions as those in their partner organisation the NHS.”
Martin noted that NHS training body Health Education England received £4.5bn for workforce development compared with the £40m given to Skills for Care.
Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association, told CHP: “This deliberate move to exclude social care nurses demonstrates the complete lack of empathy the government has for the workforce issues in social care. Providers are required to have nurses on every shift if they deliver nursing and they face the same crisis as the NHS.
“At what point will Ministers in DHSC realise they have an equal responsibility for social care? It is not just about shortages in the NHS because without nurses in social care services they are making it harder for care providers to accept clients to support the NHS discharge process.”
Specialist care group Cornerstone Healthcare said it would fund its nurses CPD packages following their exclusion from Government support.
CEO Johann van Zyl said: “We want to show our nurses that they have value equal to their counterparts in the NHS. Our staff are highly skilled in caring for those whose needs are such that other providers have struggled to offer them a permanent home.
“We are committed to funding the nursing CPD award in full. Every member of our nursing staff will receive £1,000 for CPD training over a three year period.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We recognise adult social care employers can face challenges in the recruitment and retention of staff. We are working with the sector to support a growing workforce, with the values and skills to deliver high quality, compassionate care.
“The Workforce Development Fund supports social care employers to invest in the training of their staff including nurses to improve development and help them achieve their potential.”