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Gloucestershire Business News

Funding of £1.2m to boost staffing levels in Gloucestershire's social care sector

Gloucestershire County Council has been awarded £1.265 million in new government funding to improve staffing levels in the social care sector.

Staff absence rates in care homes and the home care sector have increased significantly across the country in the wake of the new Covid-19 variant, due to workers testing positive or having to self-isolate.

The funding announced this week - £120million nationally - will increase workforce capacity and provide better protection and support for staff and residents in care homes and those receiving help in their own homes.

Within Gloucestershire, the funding will provide additional care staff where shortages arise and support administrative tasks so experienced and skilled staff can focus on providing care

Help existing staff to take on additional hours if they wish with overtime payments or by covering childcare costs.

A new £149million grant national scheme has also been announced to support rapid testing of care home staff and facilitate visits from family and friends where possible.

Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk said: "This is a welcome boost for Gloucestershire's care workers.

"As the vaccine roll-out gathers pace and protects our most vulnerable, the government is boosting staff numbers to make sure we maintain safety and the highest levels of care."

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock added: "This funding will bolster staffing numbers in a controlled and safe way, while ensuring people continue to receive the highest quality of care.

"Since the start of the pandemic, we have taken steps to protect care homes, including increasing the testing available for staff and residents, providing free PPE and investing billions of pounds of additional funding for infection control.

"Help is on the way with the offer of a vaccine, with more than 40 per cent of elderly care home residents having already received their first dose."

The wider £120million fund will ensure such initiatives can continue and help other local authorities implement similar schemes.

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