Several experts by experience working within the Care Quality Commission will have their pay cut following a controversial decision related to their new contracts.
Experts by experience are those professionals with personal experience of health and social care services employed to bring a service user perspective to CQC inspections.
Employment agency Remploy has decided to reduce the hourly pay rate for such experts by approximately 20%.
The agency is currently responsible for providing three of the four regional Care Quality Commission patient expert contracts, with the north, south and London all affected.
Remploy assumed responsibility for the contract back in February 2016.
And arrangements with Remploy have proved to be controversial, with the company creating a great deal of bad blood by almost immediately announcing that it would cut expert by experienced pay by 50%.
As the time, the Care Quality Commission intervened over the issue, ensuring that the hourly rate of £15 remained in place for the first six months of the contract.
But leaked correspondence now indicates that the rate will be reduced to £10.44 per hour.
It is expected that many experts will consider their position in the light of this revelation.
Remploy has blamed the CQC for the move.
“The decision to terminate the extended transitional rate of pay for experts… was made by the CQC to ensure equitable pay for all experts and value for money for CQC,” the agency asserts
With regard to these allegations, a spokeswoman for the Care Quality Commission indicated that there would be a direct response in time, but meanwhile expressed the intention of the commission to continue to work with Remploy.
“The experts by experience programme is managed on our behalf by Remploy (in the North, South and London regions) and Choice Support (Central region), which employ our experts by experience and set their terms and conditions, including pay rates.”
But a spokesman for Remploy suggested that the decision had been taken in order to standardise pay across the sector.
“While pay rates will be reduced for a group of experts by experience, the changes will mean that all of our experts will now earn the same hourly rate for their work.”
The procurement process for the experts by experience contract has proved problematical for some time, and the Care Quality Commission has been guilty of making mistakes previously.
In July, the CQC was forced to apologise to patient experts who experienced inconvenience and distress as a result of admitted failings.