To mark Carers Rights Day, the Welsh Conservatives are reiterating their calls for care workers in Wales to receive a £10 per hour minimum wage.
The call was a manifesto commitment from the Welsh Conservatives who are calling on the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to implement it.
When ministers decided to only give £9.90 per hour last year, they made a conscious decision not to spend only £9m more to match care worker wages to NHS pay-scales.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Social Services Gareth Davies MS said:
“It is a shame ministers in Cardiff Bay decided not to spend an extra £9m to put carers on the same pay-scales as NHS workers, because they play just as important a part in looking after people when they are at their most vulnerable.
“It is really disappointing to constantly here people choosing to work in retail and hospitality because they find the care sector too unattractive.
“While it is not a silver bullet to solving the problems NHS leaders are saying is in crisis, one thing we can do is make the role as fulfilling as possible, giving carers more agency in their actions and improving their skill-set by expanding what carers can do with improved training.
“Future-proofing the profession will help end the long-standing issues in recruiting carers and play a part in ending other issues like bed-blocking in hospitals that, in turn, will improve NHS treatment, A&E, and ambulance waits.”
Davies also repeated one of the Party’s long-standing solutions to the sector’s recruitment crisis: improved training for care home workers to undertake basic checks such as blood pressure and to tackle common ailments such as trips and falls. This would aim to improve the standing of care workers but also reduce pressure on the NHS and increase the speed of treatment for patients.
It comes after the Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said the social care “sector is already in crisis,” which itself followed a survey that found all NHS Wales leaders surveyed agreed there is a crisis in the social care workforce, with a subsequent impact on patient care and safety.