A POTENTIAL £4.8m investment to increase pay and recognise the hard work and vital contribution of carers in Somerset has been announced by Somerset County Council and the NHS.
Working with Unison, the two bodies are proposing changes to carers’ pay which will take effect immediately, and include:
- A 9% uplift to domiciliary care providers (in CQC regulated settings) who agree to pay all their staff a minimum of £10.50 per hour;
- A retention bonus of £250 for those who have been working in registered care for the last 6 months;
- A £250 payment for new starters in domiciliary care (who had not worked in care in Somerset for the preceding 3 months)
The funding for these changes has been jointly agreed and funded by Somerset County Council and the NHS who say social care is crucial in supporting people leaving hospital and in the community.
Cllr David Huxtable, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Somerset is determined to break the mould and put in place a plan that values our carers and care providers, and increases the workforce and capacity, particularly in domiciliary care settings.
Signal of intent
“This is a huge signal of our continued intent to support our fantastic carers and providers and the work that they do for the people of Somerset. It will ensure that more people get the support that they are entitled to in a timely manner and support our whole health and care system.
“We intend to continue working with the sector on further initiatives including career progression, joint posts with the NHS, salaried positions and different models of care.”
Cllr David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council added: “I have long said you cannot fix the NHS without fixing adult social care.
“This is Somerset County Council and our CCG working together and making a commitment to our carers and the people who rely on them. I am really proud that this council has stepped up in this way.”
Val Janson, Director of Quality and Nursing at NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The role social care staff play in helping to alleviate pressures on the NHS is vital and the wide range of care they provide to ensure people are supported, not only in their own homes, but across supported housing, day centres and residential care is a critical part of the health and care system, both locally and nationally.
“From ensuring those who are medically fit, are able to leave hospital safely to providing complex care packages within peoples own homes. Our NHS would not work without their commitment and dedication to their roles, which is why it is fantastic that we are able to provide this investment; recognising the care our carers in Somerset provide.”
Helen Eccles, UNISON Regional Lead for Social Care said: “This is excellent news for Somerset’s care sector and we’re committed to working with the local authority to ensure that employers pass on these increases and payments on to the care workforce.
“Other measures we are supporting include UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter, training to support wellbeing, and looking at what more can be done to enhance terms and conditions across the social care workforce.”
There are currently a number of vacant social care roles in Somerset, ranging from helping people in their own homes, caring for younger people with a learning disability, to helping people in residential care.
Find out more or apply at www.proudtocaresomerset.org.uk/jobs