Calls for five-point plan to ensure nurses’ long-term safety and welfare

‘Care fit for carers’ report recommends 10% pay bonus for healthcare staff

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A policy think tank has called for nurses and all workers in health and social care to receive a one-off 10% pay bonus for their work during 2020-21.

Think tank report recommends 'care fit for carers'

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report Care fit for carers calls for the government to guarantee front-line health and social care professionals changes in five core areas in response to their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are:

  1. In addition to the 10% pay bonus, staff should be paid in full if they become ill 
  2. Free hotel accommodation and grants to cover rental arrears
  3. Access to specialist mental health therapy
  4. An increase in free childcare provision 
  5. Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE)

Government should consider adopting recommendations in long-term

While IPPR is calling for these recommendations to be introduced immediately in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it also wants the government to consider adopting them in the longer term.

The recommendations are in response to an IPPR survey that found that of the 1,000 UK health and social care worker participants, one in five said they were more likely to leave the profession after the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Care heroes' are making significant sacrifices

IPPR health research fellow and lead author of the report Chris Thomas said no one should face financial destitution while responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

‘Our care heroes are making significant sacrifices to pull our country through this crisis,’ he said.

‘No one should have to put their health at risk because PPE is lacking. No one should face a mental health crisis because no support was there,’ he said.

Department of Health and Social Care response

Responding to the call for a one-off 10% pay rise, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said annual pay awards for NHS staff are determined by an independent transparent pay review body process. It added that pay for 2020-21 is already set.

Regarding sick pay, a DHSC spokesperson said: ‘We have been clear that NHS staff should receive full pay if they need to self-isolate or for COVID-19 related sickness absence and have provided local authorities with £1.6 billion to pay for additional costs the sector would face in response to the pandemic.’

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