Government want to give pay boost to NHS and social care workers after coronavirus crisis, Jeremy Hunt says


NHS workers could get a pay boost from the Government after the coronavirus crisis, Jeremy Hunt has said.

The former Health Secretary said the crisis had brought home how incredibly important the extraordinary work of social care staff was.

Care workers are crucially important during the crisis and woefully underpaid

Mr Hunt told BBC Radio 4: “I think if there’s one thing that this terrible crisis that has brought home to us it is the importance of the social care sector.”

“The vulnerability of the 410,000 people who live in our care homes and the crucial work done by the people who care for them.

“Just like the NHS workers, (care workers) put their lives at risk to do incredibly important work, and often at very low pay.”

“I will certainly be asking for a proper settlement for the social care sector because I think we all recognise that’s something that needs to happen.”

He added: “I also think the Government will want to do that.”

The social care sector is especially short-staffed and underpaid.

According to Skills for Care, who collect data on the care sector for the Department of Health and Social Care, the average hourly rate for a care worker was £8.10 as of March 2019.

Think tank The King’s Fund highlighted the low pay as one of the big problems in keeping quality care workers, because they are paid less than a store assistant in a supermarket such as Aldi which pays £10.55 inside the M25 and £9.10 outside.

Boris Johnson promised last night austerity and cuts to public services would not be the strategy the Government takes to deal with the growing national debt.

He said he had “never particularly liked” the term austerity.

He said: “You know what my instincts are – that the economy will bounce back strongly. I think that this government will want to encourage that bounce-back in all kinds of ways.”

While the Government has gone to huge lengths to ensure social care workers and NHS staff have been given the credit they deserve, there are still mounting concerns over supplying personal protective equipment.

The PM was full and frank about the PPE problems last night and the challenges acquiring it during a global shortage.

He said: “We’re determined to urgently overcome the challenges that have been so knotty and so infuriating.

“I’m not going to minimise the problems getting the right PPE to the right people at the right time in NHS and care homes.”

“Everyone responsible for tackling these problems… are throwing everything at it heart and soul, night and day to get it right, and we will get it right.”


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