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Adult social care uplift aims to support sector

10 March 2022

Man helping another man use a walking frame

North Northamptonshire Council will pay more money to contracted suppliers of social care services for vulnerable adults in the area, if the Executive approves a report next week.

The proposal will recommend increasing payments to contracted providers by 6.5% as part of the annual uplift in a bid to bolster support for the sector and address the shortage of care workers, which is part of a national issue.

At the same time, the council is proposing to maintain the same level of funding to social care providers which deliver ad-hoc social care packages, known as ‘spot arrangements’.

Because of the unique nature of the ad-hoc care packages, spot arrangements are disproportionately expensive. The proposals aim to incentivise spot providers to join the council’s framework contract, helping relieve financial pressure.

Providing the best care possible for adults in North Northants is a priority for the council but it’s essential that we do what we can to manage the costs without compromising the service.

The sector has faced a significant challenge in recent months and so it’s important that we do what we can to offer our support.
Cllr Helen Harrison, the council’s Executive member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing

The percentage of all care and support arrangements delivered by a ‘spot’ provider is now 58%. This compares with approximately 50% in 2021/22 and 40% in 2020/21.

This changed position is largely caused by the lack of capacity in contracted suppliers who are experiencing difficulty retaining and recruiting staff at the council’s fee rates, inadvertently creating an increase in the use of spot providers to fulfil the Council’s statutory duties.

Increasing the Council’s fee rates will positively influence recruitment and retention and reduce spend on spot provision.

While the challenges in the sector – largely as a result of the pandemic and competition for staff from other industries – is part of a national picture it’s essential that we do what we can to address the issue locally.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council