Thursday, June 30, 2022
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HomeHealthSouthwark Council to spend nearly £2m on topping up care home staff...

Southwark Council to spend nearly £2m on topping up care home staff wages to London Living Wage

Care home staff in Southwark are set to make at least £10.85 an hour as part of a new set of rules given the green light by Southwark Council last week.

The council wants to bring in the changes to improve conditions for people living in care homes in the borough.

Officers said in a report that “recognising staff by paying them a real living wage and improving their work conditions will create the conditions for a more stable workforce that will provide high quality and continuity of care for residents as well as support the development of trusting and long-lasting relationships”. 

Paying everyone the London Living Wage would mean a council outlay of between £1.1 million and £1.8 million, depending on how many homes and providers sign up.

Other changes include:

  • Staff being paid for the time it takes to do handovers between shifts
  • Zero hour contract not being used in place of permanent contracts unless staff want them
  • Training being free and done in work time

The new rules came about in part because of surveys done by the council with care home staff and residents in the borough. The surveys revealed some mixed findings: nearly half of care home staff who responded to the survey said that teams were not big enough to do their job properly, although nearly 80 per cent said homes acted when residents raised concerns.

The resident survey, while considerably smaller, found that people living in care homes were getting “hit and miss” support.

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, Southwark’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We want safe, high quality and ethical care for all. Our new charter protects vulnerable residents living in care homes and the remarkable people who have worked tirelessly to keep them safe throughout the pandemic.

“While providing care is often a vocation, this does not mean staff should not be properly rewarded for the important work they do on behalf of us all. I believe that having a better paid, better skilled and well-motivated workforce in our care homes will help ensure residents receive the high quality care they deserve.

“In Southwark, we have a proud history of being a frontrunner when it comes to driving up standards of care. Our Residential Care Charter is the first of its kind anywhere in the country and one I hope to see many more organisations follow.”

The charter has also got the support of Unison, one of the UK’s largest unions.

 

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