Fears in the Care Homes Sector regarding the national living wage

Panel for Ashtons Legal care homes seminar

Panel for Ashtons Legal care homes seminar - Credit: Archant

Trinity Park seminar examines the implications of the national living wage in the care home sector.

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal - Credit: Archant

Care Home owners and managers are concerned about the national living wage affecting recruitment in the care home sector, according to a straw poll taken at an event for care homes in Ipswich last night. Over two thirds of delegates raised their hands when asked if this issue concerned them more than Brexit.

“There are serious concerns in the care home sector that the introduction of the National Living Wage will hugely impact the viability of many care homes”, said Annabel Mayer, solicitor specialising in this sector base at Ashtons Legal.

“We understand from a letter written to the chancellor by the UK’s five biggest providers of care - Four Seasons Health Care, Bupa, HC-One, Care UK and Barchester – that the introduction of a minimum wage of £7.20 an hour from April this year, rising to £9 by 2020 for workers aged over 25 in the UK, could cost the care sector £1bn by 2020.”

The letter goes on to explain that staffing accounts for 60% of the cost of care and if these costs to the employer increase, then many homes will be forced to close, resulting in pressure on the NHS to provide care for the elderly.

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The event, hosted by Ashtons and held at Trinity Park in Ipswich, welcomed over 80 people, the majority of which were social care home owners, directors and managers.

The guest speaker at the event was Jo Govett from the CQC, and delegates heard presentations from Jacqueline de Sousa, CEO of Amber Support Services, Paul Spencer, a care homes specialist barrister, Ross Strowger and Annabel Mayer from Ashtons, Jeremy Huband from NatWest and Emma John from Partnership in Care.

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In her presentation, Jo Govett of the CQC spoke about what care homes can do to ensure they are providing high quality care, with specific reference to CQC requirements. Jacqueline de Sousa, CEO of Amber Support Services in the Midlands, shared her experience of once again achieving the coveted CQC Outstanding Award putting them in the top 1% of Health and Social care organisations in the UK.

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