Editorial

Less politics, please

Chancellor George Osborne’s plan for a UK national living wage, unveiled in this year’s budget, has been poorly received by the UK’s five biggest care home providers – Bupa, Four Seasons Health Care, HC-One, Care UK and Barchester.

Chancellor George Osborne’s plan for a UK national living wage, unveiled in this year’s budget, has been poorly received by the UK’s five biggest care home providers – Bupa, Four Seasons Health Care, HC-One, Care UK and Barchester.

The Big Five predict the introduction of the wage would cost the sector £1 billion by 2020. They say that the care home sector could collapse under the strain, leading to closures and huge implications for thousands of residents and knock-on effects for NHS services.

More than 400,000 people live in care homes in England, 70,000 of them in homes managed by the Big Five.

The Big Five predict the wage would cost the sector £1 billion by 2020 with the associated risk that many care homes would close

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most carers working in care homes are aged over 25, the age group that would potentially benefit from the introduction of the national living wage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Care Forum survey 2014 revealed average pay rates across its membership may already be higher than the £7.20 proposed. This suggests that some providers may not be obliged to cough up any extra at all. The announcement presents a political opportunity for them to express their resentment at government directives that come without any financial sweetener or safety net of NHS-style bailouts, and undermine their autonomy in setting pay scales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fair enough or not, political factors such as these can easily deflect attention from the needs of care workers themselves, who despite their contribution to the wellbeing of thousands of care home residents, are still often undervalued, under-rewarded (even on a national living wage) and under the radar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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