Councillors have approved a “significant” increase in the amount the City of Wolverhampton Council pays to adult social care providers of between 11.85% and 20.36% in the next financial year.

Members of the council’s Cabinet (Resources) Panel approved the recommendations to 'ensure sufficiency and sustainability across adult social care markets' when they met last night (Wednesday 22 February, 2023).

The new fee structure will be introduced on 3 April, 2023, and means that nursing care providers supporting older people and older people with dementia will receive a 20.36% increase in their hourly rate.

A 12% increase will be given to residential care providers supporting older people and older people with dementia, residential and nursing providers supporting people aged under 65, and for Extra Care providers.

The hourly rate paid to home care providers, for home based respite, to supported living services and providers of community activities for older people and adults with complex needs will rise by 11.85%.

And the amount paid to agencies and personal assistants via Direct Payments, and individual service funds, is also set to increase by 11.85%.

Councillor Linda Leach, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Our city's adult social care providers have a vital role to play in supporting our most vulnerable residents, and we are determined to do all we can to support the sector.

"We know that, like other employers, adult care and support providers are continuing to face a perfect storm of rising costs and recruitment issues, and these aren't going to go away any time soon.

"The council increased the hourly rate it pays adult social care providers by up to 10% in 2022-23, but in the next financial year we will be going even further, with significant increases of between 11.85% and 20.36%.

"We have engaged closely with local providers and their feedback has informed our proposals, alongside other factors such as the increase to the National Living Wage, the continuing high levels of inflation and our legal duties as a council to support a sustainable market while setting a balanced budget.

“It means we will be putting a further £10.1m into adult social care over the next financial year, bringing our total investment in adult social care to over £95m in 2023-24.”

She added: "I can assure providers we will do everything in our power to continue to support them. This includes continuing to lobby for the long term reforms to adult social care that would enable us to provide assurances of income flows for our providers and to 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.