Coronavirus: Welsh Government Give Extra £40 Million to Support Adult Social Care
Wednesday, 15th April 2020
The Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales, Vaughan Gething, has announced an extra £40 million will be given to help support adult social care services during the coronavirus pandemic. This funding is intended to help meet the increased costs of basic PPE, food, staffing costs and ICT, which are being incurred by adult social services.
The £40m will be allocated to local government through the new Covid-19 local government ‘hardship fund’. Local authorities will work with adult social care providers to draw down the extra funding based on the new costs that are identified.
On announcing the news Mr Gething said:
“Social care plays a vital role in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Wales and the health service. This work is more important than ever. This additional funding will support the extra costs adult social care services are now facing. The Welsh Government has been working with local authorities and other partners to identify the additional resources needed to meet the extra demands on adult social care services. We will review this allocation and potentially make further money available if needed in the future."
It comes from the £1.1bn fighting fund created by the Welsh Government to support public services to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Gething also praised the Welsh frontline workers by saying:
“The social care workforce is on the frontline of this huge effort to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and we are committed to supporting every single person do their job. Every one of us in Wales owes them a debt of gratitude. I want to personally thank our social care workforce for their fantastic efforts in protecting the public.”
Whilst Care Forum Wales chair Mario Kreft welcomed the news, he also criticised the government's lack of spending. He said:
“We welcome the announcement by the health minister because it’s a step in the right direction but as ever the devil will be in the detail. As we see the coronavirus carnage rolling out, it is clear that we are going to need a lot more than £40 million. This is about saving as many lives as possible. The idea that this is anything more than a first instalment would be met with disbelief by a sector that’s on its knees as a result of 24 years of neglect." Mr Kreft added:
“Councils haven’t even implemented this year’s fee increases – and in some places we don’t even know what the new rates are even though we are having to pay staff an extra seven and a half per cent in many cases. We believe this announcement should have been made a month ago because, having seen what’s happening in Europe, it’s been clear that this tsunami is inexorably heading in our direction. We’re now looking anxiously over the border and we are already tragically seeing an alarming increase in the number of care home residents dying after contracting Covid-19. Sadly, we are already seeing deaths in Welsh care homes.”