New funding package awarded to adult social care providers in Harlow
News / Fri 14th Jan 2022 am31 09:44am
ESSEX County Council (ECC) has agreed a package of new funding totalling £7.4m for the care sector in Essex. The new funding is dedicated to improving the recruitment and staff retention of care workers in adult social care at a time when the sector is experiencing unprecedented pressures from workforce absences due to Covid-19, in addition to seasonal pressures during the winter months.
The £7.4m will provide dedicated funding for the following priority areas:
The new funding will help adult social care to continue supporting the NHS with timely discharge from hospital to where ongoing care and support is needed. In addition to this immediate challenge, it will also give care providers better financial support to increase staff wages, maintain safe staffing levels and where needed, to bolster capacity in their workforce.
It is believed that if staffing levels are retained and even improved as a result of this new funding, this will then help providers to prevent some admissions to hospital.
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care at Essex County Council, said: “Unprecedented pressures are being experienced in the Adult Social Care sector currently due to the pandemic, and other factors in the economy. These funds will not only help us to address these short-term issues, they will help us support the NHS and continue working towards our goal that as many people as possible continue to live independently at home.”
The funds are drawn from the Government’s COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 to support local authorities and social care providers to maintain safe staffing levels over the winter period and to continue working closely with the care sector to build sufficient workforce capacity across services.The Adult Social Care Winter Plan published on 3 November 2021 sets out the support the government will be providing to the adult social care sector to meet the challenges it faces this winter.
The plan includes a commitment to provide workforce recruitment and retention funding, to support local authorities and providers to recruit and retain sufficient staff over winter, and to support growth and sustain existing workforce capacity.
Frankly this article shows that actually Essex and the Government are doing very little to address the crisis in social care. £830k will do practically nothing to address the chronic issue of poor wages and the recruitment of care staff - That is the equivalent of £16k in total per week to be spread among hundreds if not thousands of care workers across Essex. Earlier this week the Directors of Social Services told the Government there is an acute shortage of care staff and that support is having to be cut people in desperate need of help. There were also reports of the huge demand on hospital beds due to the hospitals not being able to discharge people back into community due to lack of support. It is time for the Government and Essex to stop misleading the public.