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The Poundland Experts By Experience

January 27, 2016

Last week, George Julian wrote a shaking the truth stick blog post about the void that exists between organisation’s declarations about how much they value experts by experience and the reality of how much (little) they are prepared to remunerate those valued experts.

In the same week, the CQC announced that they were reducing the pay of their experts by experience inspection teams by a half. I don’t understand the politics of this but it looks like the CQC has outsourced their experts by experience to a private company and that company has halved the pay. It doesn’t really matter who did it but shows up again, the lack of accountability when you get stuck in the outsourced maze.

Today, I have had first hand experience of this disrespect shown to experts by experience. I want to say, I’m not knocking the organisation. They are doing what they think best to preserve their tight funds. But I think it’s an interesting example of the lack of value given to the people who could have a really valuable contribution to make.

I have been booked to speak at an event in Birmingham in the spring. This morning, I was informed that they wouldn’t be able to meet my fee but would pay £100 for the day plus travel costs.

As I am self employed, I would have not received the £165 I would normally earn on the day I’d be in Birmingham. They weren’t prepared to pay for overnight accommodation, so I’d have to travel there and back in one day. I’ve done the journey before and from leaving my front door to arriving at New Street station, the journey takes four and a half hours. Doing a return journey in one day, would mean I’d need an extra four hours support for Steven that isn’t covered by the Personal Budget. I’d have to cover those extra hours (£42) out of my pocket.

So, I would be £207 short but only receive £100 for my input. I would be paying them £107 for my “valuable experience”.

Needless to say, I had no choice but to pull out of the engagement.

It’s actions and words again. Government, Charities, all the players in the social care world regularly trot out that the input of ” experts by experience” is valued and crucial for their learning. The actions reveal any value comes with a Poundland price tag.

I’m not greedy. But I’m not willing to be exploited either.


From → Social Care

  1. The gap between public and private continues to grow. Doing freelance academic work (with many years of training, experience etc.) the pay is now half what my institution paid part-timers over 20 years ago, and something like 150% less than a solicitor, or psychologist or psychiatrist in private practice with roughly equivalent education and experience would get. Most of us don’t choose our profession for the money but there is no doubt that ‘expertise’ is only valued in theory and in some areas of work. Should have been a commercial lawyer like my nephew or attorney like my cousin!

  2. Are the itinerant, often bank workers, paid minimum wage, employed to ‘care’, and the minimum worker, per resident allowed quota, in supported/independent, living ‘experts by experience’ ?

    And, are they inspected by CQC,? for the £3,500 per week paid to their venture capital private providers, like Lifeways.

    Of cause not, they are deemed much better ‘experts’, after a one day induction training, untested, by those, wishing to employ them, as cheaply as possible.

    See the no inspection and then routine one on concerns, by CQC of Kingdom House, where Thomas Rawnsley died in Sheffield last year

  3. Well said Mark! I wish I had a £ for every time I’ve been asked to be at a meeting where I’m the only one not being paid for my time or the (small parent led) charity I do work for have to stump up for my time because we feel it’s important we are there.
    Even when you manage to negotiate a fee they take their time to pay you and put all sorts of beaurorcracy in the way …then you spend time chasing up to finally get paid.
    OXFSN and My Life My Choice in Oxon have upped our fees recently to really reflect the time and expertise we offer. We think we are worth it and we will refuse to sit around the table unless we are properly renumerated

  4. Makes that £300 for a day sleeping in the Lords seem all the more obscene. Vive la revolution!

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