CARE providers in Somerset will be supported with an additional £8.6m package to help them mitigate against the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A councils spokesperson said: “The additional funds from Somerset County Council agreed for 2021/22 will allow providers to continue investing in staff and delivering quality care, reflecting National Minimum Wage increases.
“The coronavirus pandemic has presented care providers with significant financial difficulties, with many experiencing loss of income compounded by higher running costs and staffing shortages.”
Mel Lock, Somerset County Council’s Director for Adult Social Care, said: “We really value our social care sector and those who work within it, and recognise the vital role it plays in keeping people healthy and independent and supporting them at home.
“This £8.6m represents a huge investment in our care sector. Their value, commitment and incredible achievements have only been heightened during the Covid pandemic.
“The total includes a £4.5 million substantive fee increase, and a £4.1m additional one-off 3% Covid supplement. We will pay this as a lump sum at the beginning of the financial year to help with providers with cashflow at a time when they need it most.
“Care providers did an excellent job of caring for Somerset’s most vulnerable during one of the most challenging times for the profession in history. They have delivered superb care in what has been an incredibly tough year, suffering loss of income, higher running costs, and staff shortages.
“We hope that this boost will help our care sector maintain and continue to improve the high standards of care that it currently offers, keeping pace with legislative costs and ensuring that staff are fairly rewarded.”
This year’s rise follows the £3m boost care providers received last year to support them through the worst months of the crisis.