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Government launches £162.5m social care workforce fund

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a £162.5m workforce retention and recruitment fund to bolster the dedicated social care workforce.

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 wellbeing 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.

“I want to thank care workers for their commitment and tireless efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – we owe them a debt of gratitude which I am determined to repay through ambitious, sustainable social care reform that prioritises their skills and wellbeing,” said DHSC Secretary Sajid Javid.

“This dedicated funding will help local authorities bolster staff numbers and care workers to continue delivering high quality care for everyone who needs it,” he added.

Care minister Gillian Keegan added: “The social care workforce has delivered high-quality care in the most challenging circumstances over the past 18 months – showing true dedication and professionalism – and I can’t thank them enough.

“This funding will help care providers recruit and retain staff, supporting both those already making a difference while bringing in new colleagues to help. Everyone deserves to be cared for with dignity and respect. This funding, as well as our wider reforms, will bring us closer to a world-leading social care system.”

The government has committed to bring forward white papers on adult social care reform and integration this year.

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