Minister ponders NHS-style cash for skills reform

The social care workforce could be offered financial incentives
to retrain and multi-skill if the government decides to push ahead
with NHS-style reforms to the sector, writes Derren

Community care minister Stephen Ladyman told attendees at a
closed two day social care workforce conference last week that the
government was trying to develop an ‘Agenda for Change’
for the whole sector.

Agenda for Change is the pay initiative due to be rolled out
nationally in October for all directly employed NHS workers (except
doctors, dentists and senior managers) that rewards them on average
12.5 per cent on top of basic pay over a three year period for
taking on new responsibilities. It has enabled nurses to develop
clinical skills and do work previously only done by doctors.

Other issues discussed at the conference, which was attended by
employers, service providers and officials from the Departments of
Health, Education and Skills and Work and Pensions, included pay
and conditions, the status of the sector and training and

One delegate said: “There was talk around developing a
remuneration spine such as in the NHS, but there was recognition
that this would be difficult when 70 per cent of the employers are
from the private sector. The government is looking at trying to
develop a compact that everyone would sign up to.”

Ian Johnston, director of the British Association of Social
Work, said social workers would be prepared to take on more
training for better rewards, but questioned how it would be paid

Proposals from the conference will feed into the new vision for
adult social care and a revised health and social care pay and
workforce strategy to be published later this year.

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.