Hospital Dr News

Rewarding some front line care staff with pay-rises and not others “grossly unfair”

Efforts to integrate health and care services will be undermined if some health and care staff are awarded a pay-rise while others miss out, the NHS Confederation has warned.

The Government announced in March a pay-rise for all employees on Agenda for Change contracts in publicly owned providers.

Following lobbying from social care, voluntary, GP, social enterprise, independent sector organisations and trade unions, this was then extended to non-statutory providers of NHS services who employ staff on A4C terms ‘dynamically’ (those that incorporate all new or amended terms agreed by the NHS Staff Council into staff contracts).

However, according to the NHS Confederation, only a limited number of non-statutory providers of care currently employ their staff on Agenda for Change contracts on this basis, meaning tens of thousands of frontline staff in the voluntary, social enterprise and independent health and care sectors will miss out.

The NHS Confederation is warning the uneven playing field could destabilise the already fragile community services sector where around half of all services are delivered by non-statutory providers.

Furthermore, it’s highly likely that social care will face even greater difficulties in recruiting the staff it needs if all candidates are not offered the same pay deal.

NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson said: “This is grossly unfair. The pay award for those employed by NHS trusts was welcome, but it fails to recognise and reward the tens of thousands of other dedicated staff who are delivering frontline NHS care in independent, voluntary, social enterprise, and GP-run services.

“It also does nothing for nurses and others in social care, which will exacerbate recruitment and retention issues for those vital services.

“This is about more than just individuals losing out – it has serious implications for the future of the health and care services.

“As we try to move towards more joined up care, we cannot have the government creating a pay system that sets up artificial barriers between services, and undermines the very policy it is trying to promote.

“If ministers are serious about developing services that help to keep people in their own homes and in the community, it makes no sense whatsoever to pay frontline staff in many community services less than their colleagues in hospitals.

“We are calling on ministers to look at this again as a matter of urgency. They must make sure that future pay rises are allocated and ring-fenced through commissioners and the NHS tariff. Only in this way will we make sure that all staff providing NHS services are treated fairly.”

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