Record £1.4bn funding for local authorities to support social care and bolster workforce
A record total of £1.4 billion will be made available over three years to help increase the fee rates local authorities pay to care providers, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced.
Further funding of more than £1 billion will be available for local authorities in 2022/23 to fund social care, which is intended to help councils respond effectively to increasing demand and cost pressures.
This is on top of the £300 million announced last week by the department for social care workforce recruitment and retention. The £300 million fund can be used to pay for bonuses and bring forward planned pay rises for care staff, fund overtime and staff banks increasing workforce numbers up until the end of March.
Many local authorities pay care providers less than the cost to deliver the care. This results in higher fees for self-funders and a lack of investment. This needs to be addressed to make social care more accessible and payments fairer, DHSC states. The £1.4 billion funding boost is designed to help local authorities to support a fairer cost of care.
It is part of the £5.4 billion Health and Social Care Levy, which intends to, through increasing National Insurance contributions from April 2022 to April 2023, protect people from unpredictable care costs and move to a position where people who fund their own care to access the same fee rates for care in care homes that local authorities pay.
The new social care charging system will apply to people in both residential and at-home care. According to the government, the changes will mean nobody is forced to sell their home in their lifetime.