The Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association Melanie Weatherley MBE is welcoming a £600 million package to help with recruitment and retention in social care.
The fund, unveiled by the Government today, will support the social care workforce and boost capacity in social care, in turn supporting the NHS ahead of winter and through into next year.
Of the £600 million from the Next Steps to Put People at the Heart of Care plan, £570 million will be given to local authorities as ‘flexible’ funding, split over two years, to allow them to tailor it to benefit local needs.
This could be by increasing the fees given to care providers, which will enable better pay for care workers, driving tangible improvements to social care for those who draw on it, or reduce pressures on the health system by increasing the capacity of social care and helping to bolster the sector ahead of winter.
The remaining £30 million will go to local authorities in the most challenged health systems.
Mrs Weatherley, who is also Chair of Care Association Alliance, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the announcement of additional funding to support the adult social care workforce. It is particularly pleasing that this support covers two years, enabling the sector to develop effective longer-term initiatives.”
This week the Care Minister is also writing to local authorities about preparations for winter, and NHS England has written to NHS organisations encouraging contingency planning to prepare for winter demands on the health service. The government is encouraging local health and care systems to prepare jointly for the winter months earlier this year, increasing resilience and preparedness for seasonal viruses such as flu or Covid.
In addition to the £600 million, as part of the government’s initiative to improve care for everyone across the country, the National Institute for Health and Care Research has today launched a new £10 million per year funding programme focused on social care research.
The Research Programme for Social Care will collect information on the people at the heart of care, providing government and the sector with clear paths on how they can improve, expand and strengthen social care for people in need of care, carers, the social care workforce, and the public.