UK Government pledges £500m to develop adult social care workforce
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UK Government pledges £500m to develop adult social care workforce

UK Government pledges £500m to develop adult social care workforce

The Government has announced that it will be providing £500 million in dedicated funding for training, recruitment and retention of staff within the adult social care sector.


The funding comes from the Health and Social Care Levy, which will generate a total of £36 billion in health and social care investment over the next three years. The Levy is funded by National Insurance contributions, which rose in April 2022.


It is hoped that the Levy will help the NHS to recover after the intense and unprecedented pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pushed the number of people on elective care waiting lists to 6 million.


Announcing the new £500 million funding for social care, Gillian Keegan, the Minister of State for Care and Mental Health, said:


“I am incredibly proud of all the social care staff who have worked so hard, particularly during the pandemic.


“As we recover from COVID-19, we must look to the future and to reform – this £500 million package of support will boost workforce recruitment, allow staff to progress in their careers in the sector and very importantly, ensure staff wellbeing is better supported.


“The type of genuinely transformational change cannot be accomplished overnight. We know staff will need continued support, but we hope this package will level up opportunities for current and future social care staff.”


What will the funding be used for? 


In order to use the new funding effectively, the government has set out a multi-point plan for improvements needed to help the social care sector recover from Covid-19.


Key measures include:


  • Investing in social worker training.
  • Developing a knowledge and skills framework.
  • Strengthening career pathways for care workers and registered managers, including providing linked investment for learning and development.
  • Launching initiatives to improve mental health and wellbeing support for care workers, including improving access to occupational health services.
  • Providing funding for Care Certificates, which cover the 15 minimum standards for knowledge, skills and behaviours for specific job roles in health and social care. Care Certificates are designed for those who are ‘new to care’, and are an essential part of induction programmes.
  • Introducing new policies to identify and support best recruitment practices, with a targeted region-by-region focus.
  • Providing continuous professional development funding for occupational therapists, registered nurses and nursing associates.
  • Launching a new digital hub for care sector staff, where they can access information, support and advice. The hub will also act as a portable record of learning and development.
  • Exploring new policies (both local and national) to ensure that higher standards of employment and care are maintained across the whole of the sector.


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