When is it the right time?

NIGEL Ashton's statement that this is the wrong time for any sector to be demanding more money beggars the question ""when is it the right time?""

NIGEL Ashton's statement that this is the wrong time for any sector to be demanding more money beggars the question "when is it the right time"?

For years now local governments have vastly under-funded the private care sector while at the same time ensuring their own care staff receive appropriate salaries.

Five weeks ago the council placed an ad for a care assistant in their last remaining care home, with no nursing. The candidate did not require qualifications and the starting hourly rate was �8.08. In addition, council employees receive pensions and supplementary allowances. My own senior care staff with NVQ 3 get nowhere near this starting rate, and they do not receive a pension, etc. The council's senior care staff are on the same hourly rate as our qualified nurses.

The Care Quality Commission along with the local authority demand the highest standards of care (as it should be), but for us to maintain such a criterion is totally reliant on attracting and retaining highly trained and competent staff.


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Does Mr Ashton think that it's right for our care staff, who are looking after patients who need to be nursed, to receive a mere fraction of the salary package offered to care staff in the statutory sector looking after non nursing clients who do not need nursing?

The role of the private nursing sector has changed dramatically over the past six years where we are now looking after patients that before were nursed in the hospital or hospice.

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All we are asking is for adequate funding to pay our staff an hourly rate somewhere near that of the statutory sector, we'll even forego the pensions and additional allowances.

I don't think that's too much to ask for at any time, after all, our patients and their families rightly expect the highest standards of nursing care regardless of what time it is.

GORDON BUTCHER

Regional Chair

Registered Nursing Homes Association

Lyndhurst Park Nursing Home

Severn Rd

Weston

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