Winter package to protect social care

A £300 million fund to help recruit and reward social care workers, alongside extra support for the vaccination booster programme to protect the vulnerable and those providing care, was announced before Christmas as part of a new winter support package for the care sector. 

The Department of Health and Social Care has also issued updated guidance on care home visiting and testing to keep residents, staff and visitors safe in response to the Omicron variant. 

The extra recruitment funding is in addition to the £162.5 million announced in October, and can be used to pay for bonuses and bring forward planned pay rises for care staff, fund overtime, and pay for staff banks to help increase workforce numbers up until the end of March.

Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said councils and care providers have done an incredible job throughout the pandemic and that support for the booster programme will also “build on ongoing local authority efforts”. 

He added: “The additional funding is positive, and it is important that it is allocated quickly and is easily accessible, so that it can make an immediate impact this winter. 

“Moving forward, adult social care services continue to need significant and sustainable long-term investment – as opposed to short-term cash injections – to make permanent improvements so that people are supported to live the life they want to lead.”


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