The City of Wolverhampton Council has pledged that it will do all it can to help the city's adult social care sector as it deals with rising inflation and the cost of living crisis.

The council has already invested nearly £5m more in the sector this year – and says it will seek to further increase payments to social care providers as much as it possibly can in 2023.

It is also lobbying Government for reforms to social care, and for longer term financial settlements so that it can better plan for the future and commit higher levels of funding to care providers.

Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "We know how important the adult social care sector is, not only in supporting the NHS but in helping some of our most vulnerable residents to live longer, more independent and more fulfilling lives.

"And, as a council, we recognise there are serious difficulties facing the social care sector nationally, with rising demand, high inflation and the cost of living crisis causing a perfect storm for providers.

"Unfortunately, much-need reforms to adult social care have been delayed again. We know that the sector has been calling for reform for over 20 years, and we know that it won’t be fixed overnight – but what social care really needs is long-term funding to allow us to plan properly, and to invest in quality care at the right time in the right place for our most vulnerable residents.

"As a council, we are doing all we can to support our city's social care providers. Already this year we have increased the rates we pay providers by up to 10%, putting an extra £4.5m into adult social care and bringing our total annual investment to nearly £80m in 2022-23, which is by far the biggest budget in the council.

"And we went further in September when we distributed an extra £400,000 to help providers cope with higher inflation and the rising cost of living.

"I can assure providers we will do everything in our power to increase the fees as much as possible next year, but we can only offer what we can afford to, which is of course determined by national government settlements for adult social care.

"We are continually lobbying the Government on this because we know that long-term reforms would enable us to provide assurances of income flows for our providers and allow us invest in quality and training.

"In the meantime, we and our partners will continue to support the adult social care sector through our Wolverhampton Cares initiative, not only financially, but also by helping providers recruit staff and, equally importantly, keep the fantastic workers they already have."

To find out more about the Wolverhampton Cares commitment, launched to support providers and unpaid carers through the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, please visit Wolverhampton Cares