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Care homes warn Chancellor of ‘catastrophic collapse’ over living wage

Care providers benefit from £600m improvement funding

Care providers in England are to receive £600 million in improvement funding.

A DHSC statement announces £570 million across financial years 2023 to 2024 and 2024 to 2025 to improve adult social care provision, with a particular focus on workforce pay. In addition, there is £30 million funding for local authorities in the most challenged health systems.

Local authorities have been told that there is a clear expectation that the funding should be used to deliver tangible improvements in adult social care services and not just to “meet inflationary pressures”. However, they can choose to use the funding to support more workforce and capacity within the adult social care sector, for example, to:

  •  increase fee rates paid to adult social care providers
  • increase adult social care workforce capacity and retention
  • reduce adult social care waiting times.

Setting out the grant conditions, the DHSC says it “strongly encourages local authorities to work closely with providers to use this additional funding to grow workforce capacity by investing in improved pay for people who work in care. This could include investing in pay differentials to recognise qualifications, skills and experience; or raising pay.

Ministers stress the need to use the funding to grow workforce capacity to support more local authorities to cope with potential winter challenges in the short-term. Local authorities will be asked to provide a summary description, aligned to NHS winter surge plans, to ensure they have achieved sufficient capacity to meet potential adult social care surges in demand over winter, including through use of this fund, by 28 September 2023.

Commenting on the funding, Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said: “Once again, the government require a great deal from a relatively small pot of funding. This fund cannot be relied upon to remedy social care pressures alone. The £570m promised over two years equates to a mere 10p per hour pay rise for the social care workforce.”

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