Sheffield Council has agreed a £4.2million investment which means companies providing care commissioned by the council, or purchased by a person with a direct payment from the council, will be able to increase wages for staff.
Coun George Lindars-Hammond, Cabinet member for health and social care, said: “I want to sincerely thank all of the care providers and staff for their relentless hard work and commitment to caring for our loved ones throughout this pandemic – they truly are frontline heroes.
“Care work is one of the most important jobs in our community and we want to ensure that carers are rewarded and valued appropriately for the vital work they do.
“We have also listened to the concerns of providers and on top of our commitment to increasing pay, we will also provide a higher sum for non-staffing costs in care homes to help them meet their significant pressures.”
But council officer Emily Dickinson told a Cabinet meeting that there was a “massive army” of unpaid carers looking after family or friends
“We have about 60,000 carers in Sheffield, that’s about one in 10 people. There’s been some national research that has shown that the carer population has grown, and if we extrapolate that to Sheffield, it suggests that at some points it’s been about 90,000 which is a really large number of people within the city.
“It’s important to say that many groups of people and individuals have been disproportionately impacted because of shielding, lockdown, resilience and loneliness.
“We know digital exclusion has been a huge problem, and at times services have either been closed or fluctuating.
“Carers were retrospectively added to group six of the vaccine rollout and there has been a range of ways of calling them forward for vaccines. The council has led on pulling together some of those numbers and about 9,000 carers in the city were submitted to the national booking system.”