Minister for Care Gillian Keegan image
Minister for Care Gillian Keegan

The adult social care sector is set to benefit from £162.5 million of new UK Government funding to help workforce retention and recruitment.

Local authorities across England will soon be able to access the fund based on their need, helping to boost the number of people working in adult social care and supporting those already working in the sector to continue to deliver high-quality care.

Available until the end of March 2022, the new ring-fenced funding will support local authorities working with providers to recruit staff. It will also be available to help retain the existing workforce – through overtime payments and staff banks of people ready to work in social care – and will provide further capacity to support their health and well-being through occupational health.

The fund is part of a series of measures in the short- and longer-term to support social care and ensure there is the right number of staff with the skills to deliver high-quality care to meet increasing demands.

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Minister for Care Gillian Keegan said: “The social care workforce has delivered high-quality care in the most challenging circumstances over the past 18 months – showing true dedication and professionalism – and I can’t thank them enough.

“This funding will help care providers recruit and retain staff, supporting both those already making a difference while bringing in new colleagues to help. Everyone deserves to be cared for with dignity and respect. This funding, as well as our wider reforms, will bring us closer to a world-leading social care system.”

However, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has said that while this latest funding boost is welcome, it does not go far enough and that £1.5 billion is required to stabilise the adult social care workforce.

Responding to the multi-pound-million funding announcement, Cathie Williams, Chief Executive of ADASS, commented: “In the run up to what promises to be an incredibly difficult winter, it is important to know that we set out to Government the need for an additional £1.5 billion to stabilise the supply of care and support, including the essential workforce, and £1.5 billion to support unpaid carers.

“This additional funding is very welcome, but it is not sufficient and equates to around £100 per care worker.  We await the promised Winter Plan and the upcoming Spending Review for further details of how the promises of long-term solutions will be met; so that the committed, courageous and compassionate people working in social care feel valued and rewarded, family carers are supported and those of us with care and support are enabled to live good lives.”

Throughout the pandemic, over £6 billion has been made available to local authorities to address pressures on their services, including social care.

In the longer term, the Health and Social Care Levy will see a total of £5.4 billion invested in adult social care – including £500 million for staff training to reduce staff turnover and enable carers to achieve recognised qualifications alongside their day-to-day work.

The UK Government has also committed to bring forward white papers on adult social care reform and integration this year.

Recently, the government unveiled £400 million in funding to help the adult social care sector deal with winter pressures, COVID-19 and flu.

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