The Government has announced that £269m will be given to local authorities for social care purposes as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.
£120m of the funding is designed to help staffing levels, including the hiring of more staff, reskilling existing DBS checked staff and also being able to provide overtime pay for existing staff to meet current demands.
The Government says that some of the money can be used for administrative costs for care homes so that higher skilled staff can focus on caring for patients rather than dealing with paperwork.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“This funding will bolster staffing numbers in a controlled and safe way, whilst ensuring people continue to receive the highest quality of care.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have taken steps to protect care homes, including increasing the testing available for staff and residents, providing free PPE and investing billions of pounds of additional funding for infection control.
“Help is on the way with the offer of a vaccine, with over 40 per cent of elderly care home residents having already received their first dose.”
The remaining £149m is ringfenced for lateral flow tests in the public sector, with 80% of the money being given specifically being given to the care sector on a per beds basis, with 20% used at the local authorities discretion to support the care sector in delivering additional lateral flow device testing.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said:
“This additional funding gives a boost to the social care workforce during some of the most difficult days of this pandemic so far.
“Care workers have been doing the most amazing job throughout the pandemic. In challenging circumstances, they have been caring for some of the people most at risk from this virus with compassion and skill.
“This additional £120 million will support social care to cope where there are pressing staff shortages due to the pandemic and comes on top of the £149 million to support safer testing.
“We’re continuing to listen to care providers to make sure they have the help they need, from free PPE to extra testing, along with all the work to vaccinate care home residents, staff and the wider social care workforce.”