Care homes have accused the NHS of
poaching its nurses as they struggle to match the pay rises for hospital staff.
Many have recruited elusive nursing
staff from overseas, only to see them immediately snapped up by hospitals.
Brian James, director of personnel
at Mission Care, a charity which runs eight homes in London, is unhappy with
the drain on his staff.
He said, “Nurses come over to us
from South Africa and then they are head-hunted by the mighty corporate giant
that is the NHS.
“We become an introductory agency
for the NHS. I have just lost three nurses.”
Staff soon become aware of the
recent increases in basic pay and accommodation allowances that ministers have
authorised to stem NHS staff shortages.
Proprietors are accusing the
Department of Health of double standards.
They claim the department’s grants
to local authorities will allow for fee increases of only about one to two per
cent for the financial year 2001-2002.
This compares with pay rises for
nurses in NHS trusts of 10 per cent with an accommodation allowance of £2,200
for those working in inner London.