£40m for councils in Wales to help social care sector meet the ongoing pandemic challenges
A new £48m package of funding to support social care in Wales has been announced by Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan.
The majority of the funding – £40m – has been allocated to local authorities and will be used to help the social care sector meet the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic.
A further £8m will fund a number of specific priorities, including extending the carers support fund; tackle loneliness in older people; investing in the social care workforce’s wellbeing and in residential services for care-experienced children.
Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan said: “We place huge value on social care in Wales and we ask a lot of the sector. It is facing significant pressures as a result of the pandemic and – just like our NHS staff – the workforce is exhausted from working so hard for so long.”
“This new funding recognises the challenges the sector is facing and will help to address some of the financial pressures it faces. It also includes new funding to invest in priority areas to improve services, in line with our ambitions and commitments.”
“We will continue supporting social care in Wales and, as we recover from the pandemic, will build a strong and resilient social care sector.”
Minister for Finance and Local Government Rebecca Evans said: “We are fully committed to supporting health and social services to recover from the pandemic and move beyond it.
“The funding we are announcing today is part of a broader package that will help services like these manage the ongoing effects of COVID and deliver high-quality care for people.”
Responding to today’s announcement Welsh Conservative and Shadow Social Services Minister, Gareth Davies MS said: “This funding announcement is welcome but will sadly not alleviate the problems that have been allowed to mount in Wales’ social care system.
“Sadly, this is not a plan for social care and will not address the postcode lottery when it comes provision in Wales. There is no solution presented here and once divided by 22 councils, the funding is a drop in the ocean.
“Nevertheless, how this money is spent is important and the Welsh Government should ensure this pot is ring-fenced with strict guidelines for councils so we can have confidence that it will be used in the intended areas.
“We’ve long been told by Labour ministers in Wales that their grand plan for social care would be ready once the British Government announced its own for England. However, we remain none-the-wiser as to when an actual programme will be presented by the Welsh Government.”
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