Decision details

Care Market Rate Increase

Decision Maker: Director of Care and Health

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The purpose of the report is to seek approval from the Director of Care and Health in respect to a proposed in-year uplift in rate, to support the current pressures within the Community Care Domiciliary Care Market from £18.47 to £20.17. The increased rate will enable providers to pay the care staff a minimum of £11 per hour to support with recruitment & retention, and support health and care system priorities. This will be funded from the Social Care Grant and market sustainability funds allocated to the Council from DHSC. This will also form part of the national cost of care exercise currently underway until October 2022, and the Council’s annual rates and fees arrangements.


This supports the work of the Wirral Plan 2026 in the following categories:


·  Safe and Pleasant Communities - Working for safe and pleasant communities where our residents feel safe and are proud to live and raise their families.

·  Active and Healthy Lives - Working to provide happy, active and healthy lives for all, with the right care, at the right time, to enable residents to live longer and healthier lives.

·  Inclusive Economy - Working for a prosperous, inclusive economy - helping businesses to thrive and creating jobs and opportunities for all



Resolved – That an increase in the rate for the Community Care Market, Domiciliary Care from £18.47 to £20.17 on a temporary basis until 31st March 2023 be approved, at an estimated cost of £1.2m.

Reasons for the decision:

The service provided by the Domiciliary Care Market is required to meet the Council’s statutory duty under the Care Act and is complimentary to other commissioned service provisions.


The increased rate will support recruitment and retention within the domiciliary care market.


The Health and Care system is reliant on the increased provision of domiciliary care to meet local priorities to hospital admissions and to facilitate discharges, which is currently a system pressure.


Alternative options considered:

The Council currently meets the Real Living Wage (RLW) of £9.90 for front line staff and could remain at this rate. Given the competing factors with other sectors such as hospitality and retail, this rate is not competitive to support providers with recruitment. 


A number of Recruitment Initiatives have been put in place (Care Friends App, Skills for Care “finders’ keepers” programme) to support the market, and could have been used in isolation, but it is felt these alone will not have the required impact without the wage increase.


  To wait until further into the financial year 2022/2023 and increase rate after the national cost of care exercise completes in October 2022. It is felt that this would be too late in the financial year, not meet current high health and care system demand and would be too late to prepare for Winter period requirements.


  To wait until after the annual cost of care exercise and apply new rates in April 2023 after agreement with Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee. It is felt that this would be too late to meet current high health and care system demand and would be too late to prepare for Winter period requirements.


Publication date: 28/07/2022

Date of decision: 15/07/2022

Effective from: 03/08/2022

Accompanying Documents: