Care Packages: NHSCT

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the Northern Ireland Assembly am 2:45 pm ar 15 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Robin Swann Robin Swann UUP 2:45, 15 Ebrill 2024

I thank the Member for his question. Four new providers have contracted with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in the past while. Collectively, they have taken on 766 packages of care, totalling 6,659 hours. The Northern Trust continues to target the recruitment of home care staff across the trust's geographical area, with an additional focus on areas where a larger unmet domiciliary care need remains.

Demand for domiciliary care packages continues to outweigh the sector's capacity to take on the work. I recognise the important role of our independent sector home care providers and have approved funding, in advance of the 2024-25 Budget being confirmed, to address the employer's requirements in relation to the national living wage increase. I recently announced a £70 million support package for social care providers and hospices. I hope that that funding will help the independent sector organisations to deal with rising costs.