Extra funding for adult social care in Sheffield will be used to increase investment in frontline care services. A key aim is to increase the amount carers are paid, as well as stabilise the local social care market.
Plans are being set out by Sheffield City Council, which was awarded an extra £24 million over three years for adult social care in a one-off funding deal for all councils in the government’s Spring budget.
Almost £10 million has been earmarked to support the care sector and services commissioned by the authority, which includes home care, care home and supported living workers.
Councillor Cate McDonald, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Carers do a fantastic job looking after the people we love. We’re planning to use some of the funding to invest more in the services we commission, and will be working with our providers on this. The aim is that carers get more take-home pay, so that more people want to work in care in Sheffield, and stay doing so. This will mean the people who need it receive better care and more consistent care, which is what we all want.”
A total of £5.9m funding will be used to develop new and innovative ways to do things, to relieve some pressure on the NHS and social care. This includes £1.3 million set aside to reduce delayed hospital discharges, so people don’t have to spend more time there than they need to. A recent survey carried out by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) showed that just one third of councils said they were planning to use their funding in this way, with the Department of Health now encouraging others to do so.
Councillor McDonald continued: “We need to use much of this one-off funding to look at doing things differently and working more closely with the NHS. It’s well known that systems are under massive pressure and I’m proud that we’re one of the authorities that is looking for more innovative ways of working.”
As well as the £9.8m earmarked for extra investment in Sheffield’s care market, a further £8.3m will be used to support existing services under significant pressure, including mental health and services for people with learning disabilities.
Councillor McDonald added: “We have no choice but to use part of this money to prop up services which are under significant pressure.
“The council has faced huge funding cuts since 2010 and whilst we’ve protected the funding for adult social care, we have faced increased demands for services and are structurally underfunded.
“This extra funding, although welcome, does not compensate for years of budget cuts, nor does it properly recognise the scale of the additional demands on our services. But I want to reassure the people of Sheffield that we are doing the best we can to make sure they and their loved ones are cared for properly, and in a way that we all would want.”