Health Minister Robin Swann has announced a support package of up to £23million for domiciliary care and the wider social care sector.
The funding will enable employers to offer improved rates of pay and attract more staff into the domiciliary care and care home workforces.
An escalating workforce shortfall in domiciliary care in Northern Ireland has led to providers being unable to deliver contracted home care packages. This has contributed to the problem of delayed discharges in our hospitals. Staffing pressures also continue to be experienced in care homes.
The Minister said: “This £23m package has been developed through detailed engagement with the sector and I am grateful for this collaborative approach.
“I am confident the funding will facilitate increased capacity across the social care sector for the remainder of 2021/22.
“A longer-term solution is self-evidently needed, involving multi-year budgets and a durable financial settlement for all health and social care services.”
The Minister continued: “I will very shortly be launching a public consultation on the future of adult social care.
“As I have repeatedly stated, social care needs a long-term programme of both investment and reform.
“While there are many competing demands on Northern Ireland’s public finances, this has to be a priority in the coming years
“We have to invest in staffing – in making a social care a more rewarding job in terms of both remuneration and career opportunities.”