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Rates authorities pay for social care have increased, says health minister

Rates authorities pay for social care have increased, says health minister
By Beth Gault
29 April 2024

The rates that local authorities pay for social care have increased by an average of 9%, according to the minister for social care.

In a speech to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services on 25 April 2024, minister Helen Whately MP said that the rates local authorities pay for care are a ‘significant factor’ in ensuring staff across the sector get paid properly, which impacts on retention and recruitment.

She said: ‘While increases to the minimum wage has done an important job of driving up pay for those at that level, a significant factor is the rates that local authorities pay for care. And those rates must be sufficient for providers to pay staff properly and employ them on fair terms and conditions.

‘That’s one reason why the government has increased grant funding to local authorities for social care and made up to £8.6 billion available for social care over last year and this. That’s why I have been clear to local authorities about the importance of paying a fair rate for care and commissioning care in a way that supports providers – both in what they pay and to put staff on contracts with guaranteed hours.’

She added: ‘I’ve been really glad to see that making a difference. I’ve heard directly from local authorities that the shift we’re seeing to care workers being put onto contracts with guaranteed hours, and we have the data that tells us that the rates authorities pay for care increase by 9% on average – going hand in hand with an expansion of the care workforce by over 20,000, improved retention and with that of course, crucially, the improved supply of care.’

The minister noted that there were additional measures coming to further help with the care workforce, including a ‘larger fund’ for the workforce development fund, which contributes towards the cost of vocational learning. This was initially given £5m in January.

A new fund for social care nursing apprentices will also be established in the summer, to go alongside the fund to train apprentice social workers, which also launched in January.

Last month it was revealed that public satisfaction with social care services was at an all time low, according to research by two think tanks.  

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