Bolton Health and Care Partnership, which is comprised of Bolton Council and key NHS organisations, has announced that it will allow its providers to pay their frontline staff the real living wage from next month (April).
This is due to the council allocating £5.4 million from its budget, alongside a two-year financial commitment from Bolton NHS organisations. As a result, its fees, which are pre-set rates paid to social care and health providers for services such as residential and nursing care and community care in people’s own homes, will also increase from April.
The voluntary real living wage, which is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation based on the cost of everyday essentials, is £9.90 per hour outside of London. This is higher than the national living wage, which is increasing to £9.50 an hour from next month.
According to the partnership, the pay rise not only recognises the “outstanding” work of staff during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, but will also attract more people into the profession. The decision, it said, underlines its commitment to supporting frontline staff, who provide a “vital service” to some of the most vulnerable adults in need.
Bolton Council leader Councillor Martin Cox said: “It is important that frontline health and care workers in Bolton receive the real living wage. This not only recognises the outstanding work done during the pandemic but will also attract more people into a rewarding and fulfilling profession. We thank our NHS partners as well as the local trade unions who have worked with us to achieve this change.”
Dr Niruban Ratnarajah, chair of Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We are pleased to be able to support this move which will ultimately enable frontline care workers to receive a real living wage. The groups of staff to benefit are those who look after the most vulnerable residents in our borough and the pandemic has highlighted more than ever just how valued their work is.”