East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has welcomed the announcement of an extra £1.6m for private care homes.
She said: “I have raised this with the Minister a number of times including last week. I am pleased that he has listened to me. £1.6m will be used to recruit staff for nursing homes and to provide care for those living at home. I have also raised the issue of the impact of the new National Living Wage on the independent care sector. I welcome a 2 percent increase in the rate paid by the health trusts to care home employers. I understand the decision on how this money will be spent is in the hands of providers. I hope that it will go towards boosting wages so that more staff are drawn to the sector. This is a step in right direction, but £1.6m is a drop in the ocean for the progress which needs to be made.”