AN EMERGENCY funding package will help care homes recruit new staff and retain existing team members amid the pandemic-induced staffing crisis.

Essex County Council (ECC) has agreed a funding package of £7.4m for the care sector.

As a result, staff will see a boost to hourly pay and their workforces bolsters by new recruits.

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care at Essex County Council, said, “Unprecedented pressures are being experienced in the Adult Social Care sector currently due to the pandemic, and other factors in the economy.

"These funds will not only help us to address these short-term issues, they will help us support the NHS and continue working towards our goal that as many people as possible continue to live independently at home."

The new funding aims to help adult social care continue supporting the NHS with timely discharge from hospital to where ongoing care and support is needed.

It is believed that if staffing levels are retained and even improved as a result of this new funding, this will then help providers to prevent some admissions to hospital.

The funds are drawn from the Government’s Covid-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021.