The social care sector in the north-east is set to benefit from a multi-million pound funding pot to help meet additional costs related to coronavirus across the country.
Following an agreement between the Scottish Government and COSLA, the funding of up to £50m will be allocated to Integration Joint Boards (IJB) across Scotland to ensure the sustainability of the social care sector throughout the ongoing pandemic.
The extra cash comes on top of the £50m previously allocated to the social care sector in May for Covid-19 related costs.
Scotland’s 31 health and social care partnerships have all put in place mobilisation plans and any additional expenditure will be expected to align with these plans.
The funding will support social care providers with Covid-19 related costs such as a reduction in occupancy due to the virus, additional staffing or sickness costs, infection prevention and control and PPE.
A spokesman for, Aberdeen City Council’s health and social care partnership said: “The cash will be spent on extra costs incurred during this pandemic, for example PPE and additional staffing costs to pay for cover for staff who are isolating or sick.
“I’d expect the figure allocated to the Aberdeen City Integration Joint Board will be similar to the share from the previous £50m allocated in May.”
Meanwhile, Mark Simpson, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s Partnership Manager, said: “Clearly, we welcome the Scottish Government’s £50million funding announcement. This funding will help sustain the social care market and providers during this challenging time.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic the social care sector has played a crucial and critical role in Scotland’s response.
“I know that it has been hugely challenging for social care staff and providers to deal with what is an unprecedented situation and all social care and healthcare staff working on the frontline have my sincere thanks.
“This second tranche of funding will bring our total extra allocation to the social care sector since May to £100m, a sign of our practical commitment to continuing to support the sustainability and resilience of the sector.
“I am very clear that we will meet any increasing need for social care as a result of the pandemic and we will continue to work closely with COSLA and NHS Boards to ensure they have the resources required.”
COSLA’s health and social care spokesman Councillor Stuart Currie said: “COSLA welcomes the announcement from Scottish Government in relation to a further allocation of funding to enable Health and Social Care Partnerships to continue to support the social care sector in their pivotal role responding to Covid-19.
“COSLA will continue to work closely with Scottish Government to ensure that resources are released to enable partnerships to meet all reasonable costs identified within local mobilisation plans to address the challenges currently being faced by the sector.”