Care England said it is disappointed that NHS nurse pay has been increased by 3% while nurses working in adult social care only received a 2% increase through the Funded Nursing Care 21/22 increase.
The representative body believes that the two parts of the nursing workforce should receive an equal uplift.
It said the need for parity is especially important given the potential for adult social care nurses to be pulled into the NHS in the event that equality of funding is not established and the fact that the adult social care sector’s nurses were, and continue to be, on the frontline in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor Martin Green chief executive of Care England said such behaviour by the government reinforces the perception that it prioritises the NHS over social care.
At the same time, all of this is being played out the adult social care nursing workforce is being subjected to mandatory vaccination, which may have unintended consequences such as increasing the attractiveness of the NHS over social care.
Professor Green said: ‘Despite all the talk of parity and adult social care reform, this action by the government merely confirms our fear that it still does not value both the NHS and adult social care in an equal manner.
‘Such actions will not serve to assist the adult social care in meeting the 36% increase in its size necessary if the demand for the social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over.
‘With a new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in position, we want to work with him to ensure that social care is once and for all understood and recognised.’
Care England said it will continue to campaign to ensure that adult social care nurses have the funding needed to be on a par with their fantastic NHS colleagues.
When the FNC rate was announced earlier this year, Care England noted how the 2% Funded Nursing Care increase was itself incommensurate when considering the plethora of additional costs associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Whilst this action will merely increase the 7% gap between the pay rates for adult social care nurses and the rates available for nurses in the NHS.
The Department of Health and social care said the government committed to providing NHS staff with a pay uplift in recognition of the unique impact of the pandemic on the NHS.
The independent pay review bodies considered a range of evidence from organisations including government, the NHS and trade unions in order to reach their recommendations.
Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts. We asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and I’m pleased to accept them in full, with a 3% pay rise for all staff in scope, from doctors and nurses to paramedics and porters.
‘We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up. I will continue to do everything I can to support all those in our health service who are working so tirelessly to care for patients.’
Minister for care Helen Whately said: ‘I am determined to make the NHS the best place to work for all our staff and we continue to invest in recruitment and retention with over 45,300 more staff in the NHS now compared to a year ago, including nearly 9,000 more nurses and over 4,000 more doctors.
‘Our NHS staff have worked incredibly hard to fight the pandemic for over 18 months and I’m glad to confirm we are accepting the pay review bodies’ recommendations in full this year, so staff in their remit will receive a 3% pay rise.’
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