£414,290 boost for Torbay social care sector

Torbay MP Kevin Foster

MP Kevin Foster - Credit: Submitted

News of an extra £414,290 in Government funding to boost staffing levels in Torbay's social care sector, has been welcomed by MP Kevin Foster.

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.

Across Devon and Cornwall, local councils are set to receive are set to receive an extra £4.2m from the fund, including the £414,290 announced for Torbay Council.

The funding can:

  • provide additional care staff where shortages arise
  • 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.

Separately, a £149million grant scheme has been announced to support rapid testing of care home staff and facilitate visits from family and friends where possible.

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The vital infection prevention and control guidance on staff movement in care homes is also being reinforced.

The news came as volunteer GPs and practice staff from across Torbay gave up their weekend to vaccinate care home staff and residents, with the aim of completing more than 3,500 vaccinations in care homes by the end of Monday.

Kevin Foster said: “This funding is a welcome boost for local care services and will help to bolster staffing numbers to ensure people continue to receive the highest quality of care as the vaccination programme progresses.”

He added: “I would like to thank those local GPs and practice staff who have given up their weekend to ensure those living and working in Torbay’s care homes receive their vaccinations. This will help save lives and protect our bay’s most vulnerable residents.”