Social care sector to receive further £120 million for additional care staff

care staff
© Kawee Wateesatogkij

The Government has allocated a further £120 million for the social care sector to help with staff shortages due to the pandemic

The new £120 million funding will provide additional care staff where shortages arise, support administrative tasks so experienced and skilled staff can focus on providing care and help existing staff to take on additional hours if they wish with overtime payments or by covering childcare costs.

Many local authorities have staffing initiatives in place to increase capacity and address staffing issues.

These include:

  • Care worker staff banks where new recruits are paid during training
  • Re-deployment models where DBS checked staff are trained and moved into operational role
  • End-to-end training and recruitment services

The new fund will ensure such initiatives can continue, and help other local authorities implement similar schemes.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“This funding will bolster staffing numbers in a controlled and safe way, whilst ensuring people continue to receive the highest quality of care.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have taken steps to protect care homes, including increasing the testing available for staff and residents, providing free PPE and investing billions of pounds of additional funding for infection control.

“Help is on the way with the offer of a vaccine, with over 40% of elderly care home residents having already received their first dose.”

The funding is in addition to the £149 million announced in December, which will be used to support rapid testing of staff testing and facilitate visits from family and friends where possible.

Minister for Care Helen Whately said:

“This additional funding gives a boost to the social care workforce during some of the most difficult days of this pandemic so far.

“Care workers have been doing the most amazing job throughout the pandemic. In challenging circumstances, they have been caring for some of the people most at risk from this virus with compassion and skill.

“This additional £120 million will support social care to cope where there are pressing staff shortages due to the pandemic and comes on top of the £149 million to support safer testing.

“We’re continuing to listen to care providers to make sure they have the help they need, from free PPE to extra testing, along with all the work to vaccinate care home residents, staff and the wider social care workforce.”

Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, said:

“As the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, Care England, is pleased the government listened to the sector regarding their deep concerns about banning staff movement.

“We want to work with the department to ensure the staff capacity fund delivers to the front line and is suitably flexible to reflect the crisis whereby providers are struggling with staff illness and absenteeism in the same way as their colleagues in the NHS are.

“Staff are our most precious resource and we want to do all that we can to support them especially in these incredibly difficult times.”

Vic Rayner, Chief Executive of the National Care Forum, said:

“It is positive that the government has taken note of the extreme staffing pressure that care providers across the country are experiencing.

“The funding announced and confirmed today is welcome news, but must be subject to continuous review.

“Communities across the country desperately need care organisations to be properly supported now and in the future so that they are ready and able to face every twist and turn of this pandemic.”


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