CARE providers today welcomed a £60m Government cash injection for the sector but wished it had come sooner.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) says every penny of support is vital as care providers fight the growing impact of Covid-19 on care of the vulnerable.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We welcome the £60m the Government is providing to local authorities to support social care – it is absolutely vital.
“Our only dismay is that the Government did not act at the end of the summer, when we warned of an impending staff crisis, and not now that we are in it.
“This money will take time to filter through to the front line and in the meantime care providers are struggling to fill their staff shifts today, tomorrow and next week.”
The Government today announced a £60m top-up for local authorities to support adult social care in the new year.
On Christmas Eve, it announced that care providers would also be able to resume recruiting overseas staff to provide care after that was halted following Brexit.
Mr Padgham added: “Both of these moves are very welcome but long, long overdue. We warned in the summer that social care was heading into a very real staffing crisis and appealed to the Government then for help.
“Only now is it responding with what many will agree is too little and too late.”
Care providers looking after people in nursing and care homes and through homecare in their own homes, are struggling as the impact of the new omicron Covid-19 variant is felt.
“With every passing day, providers are losing staff to the pandemic and finding it impossible to fill their shifts,” Mr Padgham added.
“We need urgent help to prevent the care of our oldest and most vulnerable from suffering this winter.”