Care workers in Northamptonshire to get £600 bonus for 'powering through' Covid-19 pandemic

Paid for by a joint venture of councils and medical funds, it is hoped more will join and stay in the care sector in the coming months

By Max Pearson
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 5:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 5:08 pm

Care workers in Northamptonshire are about to get £600 bonus for 'powering through' the Covid-19 pandemic

The offer applies to all staff across the county that deliver Care Quality Commission (CQC) Regulated Care Services for their efforts during the ongoing pandemic and over the coming winter months.

Leaders from West and North Northamptonshire Council, together with Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group Chief Executive, Toby Sanders, have worked together and merged funding available for this purpose to make the offer.

After being rocked hard by Covid-19, the care sector has been worn thin

The payment is made in recognition of the vital role carers undertake in helping to keep people at home or looking after them in care homes and supporting those returning after hospital stays.

The council said that this kind of care is critical in helping hospitals and health services cope over this busy and challenging period.

The extra payment is hoped to incentivise care workers to keep going and remain in their jobs in CQC regulated settings over the winter, and for new starters to join the caring profession over the coming winter months, up until March 31.

The council said there are 12,075 staff employed by more than 400 independent care and support providers providing care and support to vulnerable individuals in the community and residential settings in the county.

Paying them all will reportedly cost approximately £7.2 million and comes from the combined West and North Northamptonshire Council’s Covid-19 Contain Outbreak Management Fund of £508,907.

This as well as the the government Social Care Workforce Retention Fund of £5,236,093, and a contribution to each Northamptonshire Council (West and North) from Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group of £0.75 million.

March 31, 2022 will see the bonus paid to existing staff and new starters.

To qualify as a new starter, individuals must be new to CQC regulated care and support and recruited on or before the end of January 2022.

Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council said: “At the moment, there is an emerging shortage of home care staff across the county, and we are doing everything within our powers to address this.

"We acknowledge, and know only too well, that the care staff workforce is overworked, underpaid, and exhausted at a time when the demand for adult social care in the county has risen so sharply.

“We hope that by pooling funds together across health and social care and paying a loyalty bonus to care staff this winter, we are showing that all partners appreciate the dedication that they have shown in looking after vulnerable people across Northamptonshire.

"We also hope the offer will help to attract new staff to the profession.”

Chief Executive Northamptonshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group, Toby Sanders, added: “As health and social care leaders we are doing everything we can to ensure that the best possible care is in place for patients leaving hospital.

“In Northamptonshire thousands of care workers tirelessly offer care and support for individuals in their own homes and residential care settings.

"This one-off bonus scheme is designed to urgently help retain and recruit dedicated care staff through the many challenges of the winter ahead.

"We hope it goes some way in showing the NHS appreciation of the work carers do and will ensure the provision of high quality care to residents and reduce pressure on other parts of our health and social care system."