A £250,000 funding scheme to boost care staff recruitment and support existing care workers through the winter, has been launched in Southend.
The new fund will allow all local adult social care providers, such as care homes, supported living, day services, and home care, to apply for a recruitment and retention grant via a claim form. This will ask for details on how the grant would have a positive impact on their workforce through retaining current staff and recruiting new workers to support their care setting.
Care providers should email [email protected] to receive more details on how to apply for a grant.
Cllr Cheryl Nevin, cabinet member for adult social care and health integration, said; “The Government funding will go a long way to help us do more to support local care homes and other adult social care providers such as home care and therefore the hard-working staff who work within the sector.
“Care is more than a job – it’s a vocation and incredibly rewarding. Becoming a carer changes the lives, not only of the person doing the work, but also the people being cared for. This is especially true for older people, who need extra support in their later years having worked so hard and given so much during their lifetime themselves.
“We are seeing a difficult picture nationally with recruitment and retention and locally we are doing all we can to provide extra support and care to our care staff in the coming months, which we know are going to be challenging as we go into winter. This extra funding will really help the local workforce and acknowledge and value the hard work they are undertaking each day.”
The funding is in addition to the local delivery of the Infection Control Fund which has been part-funding care providers since May 2020, and the subsequent Rapid Testing Fund which has been aiding care providers since December 2020. So far, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has received £7,404,862 from the Infection Control Fund and £2,123,763 from the Rapid Testing Fund.
Both funds have been allocated locally and helped care providers reduce COVID-19 transmission, allow close contact visiting in care homes and the reopening of day services, along with organisations who support communities across Southend-on-Sea.
It has paid for a number of projects, including visiting pods for relatives to see their loved ones, and specific software and tablet computers to enable the care providers to ‘go paperless’. There has also been the creation of a dedicated infection control nurse role and specific infection control training to local providers. In addition, the funding has supported the local care workforce to continue receiving a wage even if they test positive.