The English Community Care Association (ECCA) has hit out at the government’s decision to delay increasing nursing care rates until a pay rise for NHS nurses is set.
ECCA said delaying an increase in the Registered Nursing Care Contribution, given to nursing home and some care home residents to pay for the services of a registered nurse, was “unfair” and “incompetent”. The new rates are being delayed until the NHS Pay Review Body reports on NHS nurses’ pay.
ECCA is concerned that many of its members will be obliged to increase independent nurses’ salaries from the new financial year, but will have to wait up to six months before they receive any more money from the RNCC.
Martin Green, ECCA chief executive, said: “The Department of Health has shown both incompetence and a lack of fairness in the way they have dealt with the RNCC changes and the news, which was buried in the depths of the DH website, that increases in the RNCC scales are to await the report of the NHS Pay Review Body. It shows that the department is not in step with the fact that much of the care delivered to vulnerable people is delivered in the independent and not the public sector.”
The DH confirmed in statement: “No decision will be made on any adjustment to the [RNCC] rate for 2008-9 until the government has received and considered the recommendations of the NHS Pay Review Body.”
DH information on NHS-funded nursing care