As part of its adult social care reform white paper People at the Heart of Care, the Government has announced that a total of £1.4 billion will be made available over three years to help increase the fee rates local authorities pay to care providers, meaning that providers, residents and staff will all benefit from additional funding to support the social care sector.
Further funding of more than £1 billion will be available for local authorities in 2022 to 2023 to fund social care. This will help councils respond effectively to rising demand and cost pressures. This is in addition to £300 million announced last week for workforce recruitment and retention – taking the total to £462.5 million.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“It is vital we continue to do all we can to protect social care during the pandemic and it is more important than ever the sector takes advantage of its priority booster status since the emergence of the Omicron variant.
At the same time we need to plan for the longer term – and this money and the details confirmed will help do that.”
Many local authorities pay care providers less than the cost to deliver the care. This results in higher fees for self-funders and a lack of investment. This needs to be addressed to make social care more accessible and payments fairer – which is one of the pillars the 10 year vision for adult social care reform – People at the Heart of Care – is based on.
This £1.4 billion will help local authorities to support a fairer cost of care and forms part of the £5.4 billion Health and Social Care Levy which will also, through charging reform, protect people from unpredictable care costs and move to a position where people who fund their own care to access the same fee rates for care in care homes that local authorities pay.
The transformed social care charging system, which includes a significant increase in state support, will apply to people in both residential and at-home care and will set daily living costs at a lower rate than originally proposed, helping people save more money. It will mean nobody is forced to sell their home in their lifetime.
Together with the money from the local government finance settlement this will sustain and develop the care sector in communities across England with overall local government core spending power increasing by 4%.
Minister for Care Gillian Keegan said:
“The measures announced in the past 6 months, and those to come on integration early next year, will mean transformational change for social care.
Not only are we tackling the immediate challenges of COVID-19 but the longer term need to reform adult social care.
This is the start of the journey but one we will take alongside caregivers, providers, local authorities and those receiving care.”
A recently published workforce survey, has also confirmed that staff shortages and the pandemic have combined to leave the social care sector struggling. This is why the Government also recently announced that care workers will benefit from a £300 million extension, in addition to the £162.5 million announced in October, to support recruitment and retention.