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Extra £11.2m could be pumped into Norfolk’s care market by County Hall

James Bullion, executive director of adult social services at Norfolk County Council. Picture Norfolk County Council

James Bullion, executive director of adult social services at Norfolk County Council. Picture Norfolk County Council

Archant

Care providers in Norfolk could get paid an extra £11.2m if councillors agree to an increase in fees.

Norfolk County Council buys almost all its adult care services from the care market, at a cost of more than £280m each year.

At a meeting of the council’s adult social care committee on Monday, January 14, councillors will be asked to agree to increase the fees it pays.

James Bullion, executive director of adult social services said: “We need to support care providers to increase the amount of care provided in Norfolk, and to improve the quality of care.

“This means paying the right fee levels and supporting staff and managers to develop and pursue rewarding careers in the care sector.

“The recent collapse of national provider Allied Healthcare has highlighted the need to ensure that the provision and management of home care services across the county is robust.

“The care sector has to compete with similarly paid jobs in retail and other sectors and to pay the National Living Wage, which will increase from £7.83 to £8.21 from April 2019. This will represent a 4.85pc increase in costs for the council.”

Sanjay Kaushal, joint chairperson of Norfolk Independent Care said: “We very much welcome this rise in fee levels for the care sector.

“Norfolk Independent Care represents a diverse range of care providers all of whom are operating in a very challenging and difficult environment, so funding is key for stabilising the market.

“Hopefully, this extra funding will also improve the offer for people considering a career in care.”

The fee level increases will include residential care for older people, with a recommended 11pc rise for this service and a 10pc rise for residential nursing care.

The new fees are based on the council’s cost of care review, worked up in partnership with care providers in Norfolk.

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