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Care homes warn Chancellor of ‘catastrophic collapse’ over living wage

Scottish care homes “reluctantly” accept 6 per cent deal

Scottish Care care home members have reluctantly accepted an uplift of 6 per cent in the National Care Home Contract (NCHC).

In Scotland this contract effectively sets the pay rates and conditions for care home workers as over 70 per cent of care home residents are funded by the State.

The deal followed four months’ of negotiations and a week-long vote on the deal. The current NCHC pays £838 for a nursing home and £719 for a residential care home – equivalent to around £5 per hour for complex care and support.

According to Scottish Care, among the reasons for initially rejecting the deal is its failure to pay frontline workers £12 an hour, as a preliminary step to paying £15 per hour – nor to address cost-of-living pressures in care homes.

However, members also considered the stability for providers, continuity for those who act as commissioners and purchase care home places and transparency for residents offered by the deal.   

Scottish care will continue to lobby on both funding issues although it recognises the offer as “realistically the best that [local government] can offer without additional Scottish Government funding”.

In Scotland, the NCHC is renewed annually between Scottish Care which represents providers and COSLA representing Local Government. It is based upon a cost model which is now outdated, but offers transparency, including putting a cap on profit at 4 per cent.

Scottish Care notes that similar skill positions in the NHS pay over 19 per cent more than in social care.  Cost of living pressures, workforce challenges and capped fees mean that at least one care home in Scotland closes every week, says Scottish Care.

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