More than half of state-funded home care providers are yet to be informed by their local authority as to how they will use the first tranche of the government’s recruitment and retention fund, a survey has found.
The data has concerned the Homecare Association, which says councils are taking “too long” to distribute the funding to the frontline.
A poll of 114 Homecare Association members on December 8 showed that 35% had not been consulted about the distribution of funds, and over half were unaware of an announcement from their local authority on the use of the funding.
The news follows the government’s announcement that it will provide £300 million on top of the £162.5 million recruitment and retention fund, launched in October.
The Homecare Association said that while it welcomes the announcement, it remains concerned about the time it is taking for funding to reach home care providers, with many struggling to recruit and retain staff.
Homecare Association CEO, Dr Jane Townson, commented: “The extra £300m is very welcome to support recruitment and retention of careworkers this winter, as things are very difficult out there.
“We call on councils to act fast. Many have not yet communicated with providers about using the first tranche of recruitment and retention funding, which was transferred to them on 3 November 2021. Action is needed now before it is too late. Careworkers continue to leave for better paid jobs in retail and hospitality and we simply cannot afford to lose any more.”
DHSC is currently preparing guidance on the use and distribution of the second tranche of £300m of the workforce recruitment and retention fund.
The intention of DHSC is to transfer this funding to councils as soon as possible, the Homecare Association said.