Join the 15 Campaign. Fairness for all in independent homecare in NI
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Homecare workers in Northern Ireland have had a tough year. Despite the endless challenges facing them during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have showed commendable strength and resilience as they put the welfare of the people they support before themselves.
It is clear, however, that homecare is inadequately valued. Four out of the five Health Trusts here have awarded a pitiful 34 pence increase to the annual hourly homecare rate, moving the average rate in NI from just £15.34 to £15.68 per hour.
These figures are nowhere near the amount needed to ensure sustainable homecare services in the current climate. Research conducted by United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) indicated that regulated homecare that can afford to pay the UK real living wage would cost at least £22.73 per hour, and the rates offered in NI are among the lowest in the UK.
We need fair recognition and reward for homecare workers, which is why firm action needs to be taken immediately. The launch of our ‘Fifteen’ campaign aims to make that happen. This figure is especially symbolic of two things – the derisory £15 per hour homecare rates, and the inadequate 15-minute visits for older people, which quite simply is not long enough to meet their needs.
We, the Independent Health & Care Providers (IHCP) and United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) are calling on the Minister for Health, Mr Robin Swann MLA, to:
· End £15 per hour rates for homecare in NI
· End 15-minute visits for older people – NI currently have the highest level of 15-minute visits in the UK
· Ensure stability for the sector with fair contracts and fair rates
Homecare workers provide essential support for older and disabled people, including those with learning disabilities and mental illnesses.
Please sign and share this petition so that we can help ensure homecare workers in NI are properly remunerated for their challenging work.
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IHCP NI needs your help with “Minister for Health Mr Robin Swann MLA : Join the 15 Campaign. Fairness for all in independent homecare in NI”. Join IHCP and 140 supporters today.