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News Report Page 12 of 17
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Disappointment and unsupported

CARE England, the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of Adult Social Care within England, has expressed disappointment at the energy bill support announced by the Chancellor, on 9 January 2023, which leaves little financial support for energy beyond 31 March 2023.

Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, says:- "Yet again, the care sector has been let down. The Chancellor and Health and Social Care Secretary of State continue to talk about their financial awards for the care sector which omits a multiplicity of requirements and conditions attached leaving little to address the cost of living and inflationary impact devastating the sector. In essence, there is no benefit to a care provider under the Chancellor's new support scheme. Those who renewed their energy contracts in 2022 are likely to remain with a devastating 250% to 400% increase in energy costs. What the Government has failed to address again ahead of April 2023 is the additional premia which are not covered by the announced support scheme; energy suppliers add to cover shipping and transportation of gas and electricity on top of daily standing charges and "risks" of customer failure which doubled in 2023 for gas from around 1p to 2p per kWh and increased from around 12p to 25p per kWh for electricity. For an average 50-bed care home, the difference is an increase of energy from around £40,000 to over £120,000 per annum. Care England worked tirelessly to provide the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department of Health and Social Care a raft of data to evidence the impact energy inflation is having on the care sector, yet it appears to have been totally ignored."

A care provider who in October 2022 renewed their energy contract would have received a discount off the wholesale energy price for electricity of just under 45p per kWh. The same provider will see that discount reduce to 1.96p kWh from 1 April 2023. The same can be said for gas which would have seen a discount of 7.4p kWh reduced to 0.697p kWh from 1 April 2023.

The Chancellor offered a minimal discount off the wholesale price yet those wishing to secure energy contracts cannot achieve anything like the wholesale price which excludes the heavily inflated standing charges, on costs and risk premia charged by energy suppliers.

Care providers who seek to renew their energy contracts will see no discounts applied until the wholesale price exceeds 30.20p per kWh for electricity and 10.7p per kWh for gas. The current wholesale price for gas is 5.7p and electricity is around 17p per kWh. This means that those securing energy currently are unlikely to benefit from any of the Government's discounts unless the energy price doubles.

Details of the announcement can be found here.

Martin Green continues:- "When will this Government talk to the Adult Social Care sector, listen to its problems, and act appropriately? When will it sit down and talk about how a correctly funded social care sector can support the NHS with discharges from Hospital and reduce A&E admissions? The kickback from Government will be that £7.5bn has been injected into social care over the next 2 years. The reality is this; when split between child and adult services, addressing 200,000 new care packages, and supporting the early discharge of people from Hospital into care to ease the NHS backlog, this figure leaves far less than is needed to address the catastrophic inflation experienced in 2022 and the ONS predicted 7.4% inflation for 2023, which becomes worsened now given little to no discount is offered to care providers for energy. Social care needs to stop being seen as the problem and engaged to participate as part of the solution."

Funding confirmed for 1st 200 apprentices to train as Doctors, HEE announces

FUNDING has been confirmed for the 1st 200 apprentices to train as Doctors over the next 2 years, Health Education England (HEE) announced; marking an important step towards making careers in medicine more accessible.

This will help develop a sustainable workforce and bring more frontline medics into the NHS, no matter their background.

The new Medical Doctor Degree Apprenticeship aims to provide an alternative route into medicine to deliver a diverse workforce that is more representative of local communities.

A HEE funding package has been agreed for a pilot programme for up to 200 apprentices over the next 2 years. This will support healthcare employers to meet the costs of taking on apprentices, including staffing costs while apprentices are undertaking education and training.

The apprenticeship, developed by employers and medical Schools with support from HEE and a range of partners, provides a route into medicine where people can train to nationally recognised standards and earn a wage at the same time. This could benefit anyone who may have struggled to pursue a traditional medical degree education or full time University course.

Apprentices will typically undertake a 5 year apprenticeship during which they will complete all elements of medical education, academic and practical, including:- a medical degree, the Medical Licensing Assessment and meet all requirements set out by the General Medical Council.

Up to £50,000 will be available to employers for each apprentice, in addition to apprenticeship funding and the usual funding support provided to medical Schools for each place.

HEE is engaging with Medical Schools that have already registered an interest in piloting the apprenticeship.

Professor!€¯Liz Hughes, Medical Director for Undergraduate Education at HEE, said:- "I'm delighted with the announcement of this new funding to enable healthcare employers to deliver up to 200 more Doctors to grow our domestic pipeline in a way that supports widening access and participation as well as encouraging employment within hard to recruit areas. This funding boost will help to support hundreds of apprentices to gain the skills they need and earn while they learn. HEE looks forward to working with pilot partners to support the implementation of this apprenticeship. HEE will support employers to develop innovative models for delivering this apprenticeship and share lessons learned from existing healthcare apprenticeships."

Minister for Health, Will Quince, said:- "These 200 new apprenticeships give people the opportunity to earn as they learn and are an important step towards removing barriers, ensuring anyone with the ability, passion and determination can be a Doctor, regardless of their background. On top of record numbers of staff working in the NHS; with 4,700 more Doctors and over 10,500 more Nurses; this is part of our plans to boost the workforce to give patients the confidence they can access the right care at the right time, especially as we continue to face pressures caused by Covid, flu and winter."

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon, said:- "Our NHS needs highly skilled workers more than ever, so I am delighted that funding has been secured for our new medical Doctor degree apprenticeships, building on our vital healthcare apprenticeships and nursing degree apprenticeships. This is huge step forward in improving the accessibility of the medical profession, by giving people from all backgrounds the chance to earn while they learn and climb the ladder of opportunity, which is central to the Government's mission to meet the country's skills needs by investing in highly skilled apprenticeships. This is also great news for recruitment in the healthcare sector, which will benefit from a new pipeline of diverse talent equipped with the essential skills needed to meet the growing demand for highly skilled professionals."

Further details on the funding available for apprenticeships can be found here.

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