A further 10 million will be provided to local authorities to support domiciliary care and increase service provision in Wales the Deputy Minister of Social Services, Julie Morgan has announced.
Funded through the second supplementary budget, the 10 million can be used to pay for driving lessons for domiciliary care workers and purchase electric fleet vehicles to improve staff access to vehicles in order to increase service capacity.
Being unable to drive or not having access to a vehicle is one of the main barriers to recruitment into the sector and can limit the number of hours domiciliary care workers are able to work.
With demand for domiciliary support services in Wales remaining high, local authorities are having to find innovative ways to increase the capacity of their domiciliary support services and address longstanding difficulties in recruitment and retention.
The Welsh Government has already taken actions to build workforce capacity by introducing the Real Living Wage and undertaking a national recruitment campaign.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan yesterday said:
I am very pleased we are providing an additional 10 million to local authorities to increase capacity in domiciliary care. Domiciliary care workers being unable to drive is cited as one of the main barriers to recruitment and can limit what services can be offered by providers. This funding will support the sector to meet these challenges and help people return home from hospital by increasing the provision of services.
In addition, there are significant delays for driving test dates due to the pandemic. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has agreed to prioritise test dates for Welsh domiciliary care workers who are waiting to sit their driving tests.
Ms Morgan continued:
I encourage anyone working in domiciliary care who is learning to drive to speak to their employer about how this funding could benefit them and their career.