Major investment in home care across Northumberland pays off

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Multi-million-pound investment in Northumberland’s home care sector has helped to end a recruitment and retention crisis in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.

An information report to the county council’s Cabinet outlines the impact of four initiatives introduced since 2022 to address the recruitment and retention issues facing home care services nationally, regionally, and locally in Northumberland.

In the county, as elsewhere, most care services for adults are delivered by independent providers – with the council commissioning care services from those providers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After serious problems with workforce capacity in care services emerged, in January 2022 the Cabinet approved plans to make a substantial additional investment in home care and other care services by offering providers funding to pay a rate equivalent to the Real Living Wage.

Coun Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for caring for adults.Coun Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for caring for adults.
Coun Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for caring for adults.

Later that year, the council provided additional funding to home care providers to support an 80% increase in the typical mileage rates paid to care workers who drive to people’s homes in their own cars.

The local authority offered further funding to bring forward an increase in home care workers’ pay during the winter of 2022/2023 and then funded a sustained further increase from July 2023.

From January 2024, the council introduced the Northumberland Guarantee – which includes eight commitments to address issues that had previously been an obstacle to recruiting staff.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

These include offering all home care workers the option of a contract that gives them a reliable weekly income and a commitment that workers will be paid for time spent in training.

Coun Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for caring for adults, said: “Home care workers provide vital care and support to people in their own homes and we believe the skilled and responsible nature of their work should be recognised in their pay rates.

“As things now stand, people in our county can be reassured that what was the single most serious reason for concern about adult social care services in Northumberland has been resolved.

“We can’t be complacent, however, and we are continuing to provide extra funding to support decent pay for home care workers – and to support home care agencies to offer attractive working conditions.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.