Health Minister Simon Hamilton has announced the release of additional funding by the Health and Social Care Board to provide a support package for recruitment in the care sector worth £1.6m from today, 1st February 2016.
The package will provide funds for Care and Nursing homes as well as the domiciliary care sector. The Minister said: “The Care Sector is a crucial partner in the delivery of vital services to vulnerable people in Northern Ireland. Having recently met with the sector, I am acutely aware of the different challenges they face including recruitment.
This support package, worth a total of £1.6m, released by the Board should bring some stability and confidence to the sector and reassure residents and their families that we are doing all we can to ensure their continued well being.
"While I am sure this additional funding will be welcomed, I am well aware that there is much work to do to address the issues facing Independent Care Home and Domiciliary Care providers, including the forthcoming increase to the minimum wage.
"That is why my Department will continue to work with the Health and Social Care Board and the Independent Sector to address the challenges facing the care sector and to develop solutions to ensure people continue to receive the care they need. A key part of this will be the setting of a new regional tariff for 16/17."
Notes to editors:
1. Over recent months the HSC has received representations from the Nursing, Residential and Domiciliary Care Sector of the increased difficulties they are experiencing in recruiting staff.
2. The rates paid by Trusts for domiciliary care from 1st February 2016 will be uplifted by 2% prior to an increase on 1st April 2016 to reflect the new living wage.
3. The responsibility for setting the regional care home tariff lies with the HSCB.
4. Media queries to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0074, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
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