The Care Quality Commission is battling to retain the services of experienced inspectors after the agency that provides them slashed their pay rates from £17 per hour to £8.40 (£9.25 in London).
From the beginning of February, Remploy took over Experts by Experience contracts on behalf of the CQC in three areas of England, North, South and London. The remaining Central area is delivered by the social care charity Choice Support.
Remploy is best known as a non-profit government agency that helps disabled people find work, but it converted to a private company before winning the £7m contract to supply Experts by Experience (EBEs) to the CQC.
Remploy asked EBEs to reapply for their jobs at almost half their current hourly rate. So many refused that the CQC has been forced to provide top-up money for six months to keep them working. It is not clear whether Remploy will stick to its reduced pay rates after these six months.
Choice Support is providing emergency cover in areas where Remploy was supposed to take over provideing EBEs.
A spokesman for the charity confirmed: “We have agreed with the Care Quality Commission to continue to support the programme for a number of inspections in the North, South and London regions for the next two weeks.”