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Carer shortage: Robin Swann set to unveil pay proposals

  • November 12, 2021
    Carer shortage: Robin Swann set to unveil pay proposals

    Health minister Robin Swann is finalising proposals to improve pay for social care staff in Northern Ireland.

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    A spokesperson for the Department of Health said officials have been in discussion with employers and a decision was due "in the very near future".

    Concern has been growing about a shortage of staff in the sector.

    Some domiciliary care companies have had to withdraw services as they struggle to recruit.

    The spokesperson said: "The department can confirm that discussions have been ongoing in respect of funding for remuneration of staff in the domiciliary care and the wider social care sector and that proposals are being finalised.

    "Notwithstanding ongoing budgetary pressures, the minister intends to announce his decision in the very near future.

    "In developing these proposals, we have had constructive engagement with social care employers with the shared objective of improving terms and conditions for employees."

    At present, about 75% of home care in Northern Ireland is provided by the independent sector.

    On Thursday, Dr Bob Brown of the Western Health and Social Care Trust told councillors in Londonderry the domiciliary care sector was struggling to recruit and retain staff.

    He said an additional £2 per hour could have a "significant impact".

    Dr Brown, the trust's director of care and older people's services, told the council's health committee the department has been working with the trust "to identify ways this winter to incentivise domiciliary care".
  • November 13, 2021
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