£500m from levy to develop the adult social care workforce

The government has said that people working in adult social care will benefit from at least £500 million from the Health and Social Care Levy to improve recruitment, retention, progression, and staff well-being.

The Levy will generate a record £36 billion over the next three years which will be invested in the health and social care system to ensure it has the long-term resource it needs while working to reduce patient waiting times and speed up diagnoses, including to clear the Covid backlog in the NHS.

Half a billion from the £5.4 billion dedicated to adult social care from the Levy, which comes into force on Wednesday 6 April, forms a package of support for the social care workforce. The Department of Health and Social Care states that the funding will attract new staff into the sector and support those already in it by providing significant investment in individual learning and development and supporting staff mental health and well-being.

Gillian Keegan, Minister of State for Care and Mental Health, said: “I am incredibly proud of all the social care staff who have worked so hard, particularly during the pandemic. As we recover from Covid, we must look to the future and to reform - this £500 million package of support will boost workforce recruitment, allow staff to progress in their careers in the sector and very importantly, ensure staff wellbeing is better supported. The type of genuinely transformational change cannot be accomplished overnight. We know staff will need continued support, but we hope this package will level up opportunities for current and future social care staff.”

Backed by the Levy, five local authorities in England have already been announced to implement a new and improved adult social care charging reform system which caps the cost of care. To ensure a smooth transition from the current charging system the five trailblazing local authorities - Wolverhampton, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Newham, North Yorkshire - will put the charging reform plans in place in January 2023 ahead of a national rollout in October next year.

The trailblazing areas were selected to ensure a cross section of communities are represented and so any insight, evidence and lessons learned from this initiative will be useful to providers and authorities in all parts of England.

The Levy will initially be based on National Insurance contributions (NICs) and from 2023 will be legislatively separate.

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