Good news for social care in the West Country

Good news for social care in the West Country

Bristol City Council has announced that it is to invest over £9 million into adult social care in the city across the next three months.

The council is to invest the money into adult social care to meet the increased demand placed on the service by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Council will use money from central government to pay for this step up in funding for social care.

In March, Bristol received just over £13 million of the £1.6 billion allocated by central government to local authorities towards the cost of financial pressures resulting from the coronavirus crisis. Officials at the Council believe the majority of this funding will need to be spent on providing the adult social care services needed to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

Council leaders said that this extra funding will build resilience in the local care system to ensure continuity of care to those already receiving it, as well as developing more capacity to meet extra demand.

Councillor Helen Holland said: ‘This is crucial funding that will enable Bristol City Council to go some way to alleviate the pressure on vital frontline services that are providing care to some of the city’s most vulnerable people during this time of crisis. We are working extremely closely with our local NHS and voluntary and community sector, who are also providing extra hospital discharge capacity back into our community.’

The Council will also work with the voluntary sector to ensure front line social care services are protected and workforce capacity is maintained when sickness absence increases. This includes funding key third sector organisations to support volunteers and protect existing capacity.

The additional funding will support:

• In partnership with NHS: funding the facilitation of rapid discharge from hospital within 1 hour when someone is medically fit for discharge, and resettling at home or in an appropriate care setting.
• Providing cover for frontline staff, including bringing in agency staff on an increased hourly wage if needed.
• Working closely with the independent sector including nursing homes and home support to ensure they have the capacity and resilience to deal with the extra pressures over the coming months.
• £750,000 of extra resources to some key organisations to support volunteers and existing capacity, to ensure people return home safely and well and are in receipt of appropriate care.