Leaders of care associations in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland met in London on 4 and 5 October 2021, for the first time since the start of the pandemic. http://www.fivenationscareforum.com/
Reflecting on the invaluable role of our care workforce in making a positive difference to the lives of others, and on their vital contribution to economic growth, we renewed our collective commitment to improving their working lives.
Throughout the darkest days of the COVID19 pandemic, care workers kept going, focusing relentlessly on the safety and well-being of others.
Now there is requirement for Governments to engage with this vital healthcare workforce to ensure they are positioned to focus relentlessly on investing in them.
In Scotland and Wales, careworkers have each been given bonuses of £500 or more in recognition of their outstanding commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Northern Ireland there is commitment to do the same. The Governments of England and the Republic of Ireland have declined to acknowledge the exceptional contribution of the care workforce. Whilst the bonuses have been very much appreciated by careworkers, one-off payments of this nature do not solve underlying issues.
Increasing pay, terms and conditions of employment for the workforce, so they are on a par with equivalent roles in State-provided health services is a priority. The pandemic should signal an end to the discrimination applied by Governments towards employees in the independent and voluntary sectors who are fulfilling vital roles in caring for older and disabled people at home or in the community.
News of the Scottish government’s announcement on 5 October 2021 that wages of careworkers in Scotland will rise from £9.50 per hour to £10.02 per hour, equivalent to Band 2 healthcare assistants in the NHS, was warmly welcomed and heralded […]