Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services and Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services
The Welsh Government recognises the critical role social care plays in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Wales. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak the Welsh Government was working to support the sector. Through delivering our long-term plan for health and social care, A Healthier Wales, and implementing the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, we were working to strengthen the sector and enable our excellent social care workforce to deliver for everyone in Wales with care and support needs.
We want to be clear that the social care workforce is on the front line of this huge effort across public services to push back the Covid-19 outbreak. Every day some 65,000 members of staff in the front-line social care workforce are providing vital care, often in really challenging circumstances. All of us in Wales owe them a debt of gratitude, and we want to use this opportunity to thank personally everyone working in social care.
On Tuesday we announced that the Welsh Government is making a significant injection of funding into the adult social care sector to help meet the additional costs that are arising as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Our team has been working with a range of partners including local authorities, independent providers, the National Commissioning Board and sector representatives including from Care Forum Wales, to identify the additional resources that are needed now to enable social care to deliver for current care recipients and to play a full role in addressing the new care needs that are arising from Covid-19.
Provider costs are increasing in a number of areas including staffing, basic PPE, food and ICT costs. Overall, based on extensive engagement with providers, there are cost increases of between 10 per cent and 30 per cent on adult care provider baseline costs through the initial phase of the outbreak. These costs largely represent a call on additional funding to support local authorities in their commissioning of care.
Therefore we announced an additional £40m resource now, with the intention to review and potentially make further allocations depending on the path the Covid-19 outbreak takes. This injection of support for adult social care will enable local authorities to help meet the increasing cost pressures their commissioned providers are facing. This will be provided through an emergency fund to be established initially to cover the period to the end of May. The scope of the fund is the whole of commissioned adult social care provision. This £40m allocation will be provided from the £1.1bn allocation recently announced by the First Minister to meet the costs of Covid-19 for public services.