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Care homes and home care providers will benefit from a new £162.5 million workforce retention and recruitment fund to bolster the dedicated care workforce.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, tens of thousands of additional carers could soon support the workforce through local recruitment initiatives.
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.
The ring-fenced funding, available until the end of March 2022, 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.
Throughout the pandemic, the government has provided almost £2 billion towards infection control and testing and over £6 billion has been made available to local authorities to address pressures on their services, including social care.
This funding is in addition to the £388 million announced in September 2021 to support infection control, testing and to boost flu and Covid-19 vaccines in care homes ahead.
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 social care workforce has delivered high-quality care in the most challenging circumstances over the past 18 months," said Minister for Care Gillian Keegan. "This funding will help care providers recruit and retain staff, supporting both those already making a difference while bringing in new colleagues to help."
The government has committed to bring forward white papers on adult social care reform and integration this year.