CQC staff are set for a one-day strike on 2 May 2023 over pay disputes. It is estimated that hundreds of staff plan to participate, and will include inspectors, call centres and data analysts.
According to UNISON, low wage increases, which were largely due to the Government’s public sector pay restraint, has contributed to greater numbers of staff leaving the sector and leaves the CQC struggling to fill vacancies.
It is reported that in 2022 CQC staff were give a pay increase of 2.75% to 3.5% as well as a one-off payment of £100 or £150 depending on their level.
This follows a ballot conducted in march of 700 union members, where 73% voted for strike action and 92% supporting something short of a strike. Regardless, there is a clear majority in favour that something needs to be done about the low wages.
It should also be noted that the strike will affect urgent inspections, which will be delayed until after the strike.
This strike action should be a serious wake up call for the sector has a whole. Not only has the CQC been under immense scrutiny from providers over the last year due to their over-aggressive approach when it comes to taking regulatory action against providers, but it would now appear that there is unrest within the CQC itself.
This will inevitably have a trickle-down effect on the inspection process as a whole and is likely to only exacerbate the current challenges that providers face. With even more limited resources the CQC is unlikely to be able to dedicate the time and effort to thoroughly and robustly investigate concerns they have. This will mean that the issues which providers are facing now (i.e. heavy reliance on unsubstantiated anonymous allegations, use of scant information to substantiate allegations, failure to corroborate allegations with documentary evidence, etc.) will only persist until a solution is found.
If you have concerns over the inspection process and how this may affect your service, Ridouts’ team of specialist solicitors can help. Please call us on 020 7317 0340 or email at email@example.com.