Nursing home workers should be given a £ 500 Christmas bonus to deter them from quitting the job, health bosses say.
NHS providers – who represent health care workers – warned workers would be poached from Amazon with up to £ 3,000 in registration payments.
It called on ministers to offer members of the sector a festive salary package to limit the number of those who will leave in what is expected to be a harsh winter.
The care sector has been plagued by vacancies in recent years and nursing homes were thrown into chaos last week after the Covid “no jab, no job” policy went into effect.
An estimated 57,000 employees were laid off as a result of the controversial regulation, which corresponds to a tenth of the workforce.
Experts warned that this – in addition to 100,000 vacancies – could force many homes to close and put residents’ lives at risk due to unsafe staffing levels.
Health bosses have requested a £ 500 bonus for homeworkers (stock image)
Pictured: The graph above shows the percentage of staff working in nursing homes for those 65+ who have received their first and second doses of the vaccine. It’s through October 31st, the latest available date
Chris Hopson, CEO of NHS Providers, called for a “minimum bonus” of £ 500 which would cost the public around £ 750 million in total.
He said, “The government needs to think about this type of emergency aid … because our system needs to stop the current flow of people leaving social welfare and moving into other industries like retail.
“We know these industries are trying to get a Christmas workforce because they are making a significant portion of their bottom line over the next six weeks.
Older people “neglected and abandoned” by the collapse of the social system, the campaign said
Elderly care residents remain “neglected, abandoned and betrayed” for nearly two years after the pandemic, activists have warned.
Hundreds of thousands of the UK’s weakest suffer from the “collapsing” welfare system while the rest of society goes back to normal.
Many residents are “locked up” in their rooms as nursing homes continue to impose draconian Covid visiting rules that lawyers believe violate their human rights.
Charities say residents’ suffering will worsen this winter as chronic staff shortages mean caregivers can only do “bare minimums”.
Tens of thousands of nurses lost their jobs last Thursday because a law required them all to double stitches – forcing some homes to close beds and refuse to admit new patients.
The Daily Mail campaigned for an end to the visit bans imposed on 400,000 residents during the pandemic, and formal restrictions were officially lifted in July.
However, many households have continued to restrict visits to pre-booked, monitored 30-minute slots, while the rules also stipulate that they should be blocked for two weeks in the event of Covid cases.
Diane Mayhew, of the Rights for Residents campaign group, said “key caregivers” must be given statutory visitation rights under all circumstances.
She said, “The rest of society is back to normal, but people in nursing homes remain a minor matter. They have been neglected, abandoned and betrayed during this pandemic. “
“That’s why Amazon and others pay a substantial bonus. If we don’t stop the loss of social workers it becomes a real problem and needs to be addressed very quickly. ‘
Nurses in Scotland and Northern Ireland received a thank you bonus of £ 500 for their work during the pandemic, while in Wales they received £ 1,235.
But such handouts were not given to their colleagues in England.
Unions and care directors have urged care home staff to receive a £ 1,000 bonus this winter.
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) President Stephen Chandler said yesterday that the four-digit payment would show the country is “valued” for its skills.
He said, “This would send a strong signal to people that care work is a career that is respected and adequately rewarded in the future.
“Unlike their counterparts in the rest of the UK, nurses in England have not received a government bonus for overcoming the pandemic.”
Care England chairman of the board, Professor Martin Green, has also urged ministers to thank workers for fighting the virus.
He said the bonus should not be taxed and should be paid directly to employees rather than through their employers.
“Retention awards are critical to recognizing the hard work that social care workers have done and continue to do. This is a thank you and to aid employee retention, ”he said.
“It brings us in line with Scotland and Wales. This sector is facing a personnel crisis and we must do everything possible to appreciate our people, they are our best resource. ‘
Senior UNISON official Gavin Edwards urged ministers to force a salary increase above the inflation rate for social workers after the pandemic.
In January a petition was launched to give a £ 500 thank you bonus to Social Welfare and NHS workers and received around 16,000 signatures.
However, it was rejected by ministers and the Ministry of Health said at the time it was “immensely grateful” to the sector but was considering “no bonuses at this time”.
It is said that other ways are being sought “to improve the recognition of health and social workers”.
Nursing home residents were disproportionately affected by Covid during the first wave of the pandemic.
It was later found that hundreds of infected patients were discharged home from hospitals without a test.
Ministers have argued that their controversial new vaccine mandate in nursing homes is to ensure there is never another outbreak in this sector.
The health department was asked for an opinion.