As this IMPORTANT report says…
‘The levels of financial settlement reached with local government and the NHS to fund social care are below the rate of cost inflation being experienced by providers. In 2022/23 average pay uplifts are running at 8%, local authority fee uplifts at 6% and NHS uplifts at 5%. A 10% uplift for the UK Living Wage was announced from September 2022. Data collected from not-for-profit providers by Cordis Bright as part of its annual Viewfinder survey shows that financial settlements have been lower than increases in costs for many providers for at least 5 years, although there was a slight improvement in 2020/21 as a result of Covid grants. Providers are trapped between two financial pressures: on the one hand they want to pay their skilled workforce as much as they can, and they also recognise the need to try and stay above National Living Wage (NLW), and if possible, to pay UK Living Wage or higher. At the same time, they are limited in the resources they have to pay these additional uplifts given their financial dependence upon local government and the NHS. Ultimately, they are competing in a reduced pool of labour not just with other sectors of the economy and the NHS, but with staffing agencies themselves who then sell staff time back to the provider at a higher rate…’
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT …here are the recommendations.
Proposals for action:
Central Government should commit to the principle of pay parity for equivalent roles across the whole NHS and social care economy, promoting this as the minimum pay floor rate for social care staff, and fund local authorities accordingly.
The pay rates for staff working in social care should be tied to the NHS Agenda For Change. This would mean most front-line care staff aligning with NHS Pay Band 3, which is currently £10.40 per hour. Additional funding for this could be specific and targeted, with employers providing audit trail proof that additional monies have gone into the wage packets of staff. Learning Disability and Autism Social Care providers Financial Impact Assessment
A one-off winter pressures payment equivalent to the additional £500million already provided by central government to try and speed up discharges of older people from hospital to support providers in the management of inflationary pressures and the likely intensification of workforce issues over the winter months.
In the medium to longer term, the single biggest change which would derive the greatest efficiency and enable providers to deliver with more flexibility and a greater focus on personalised services would be commissioning on the basis of outcomes for individuals, as opposed to inflexible packages of hours, often commissioned many years ago with little or no ongoing oversight.