Press Release Minister Announces £1.6M support Package for Care Sector




Strictly embargoed until 00.01hrs Monday 1 February 2016




Health Minister Simon Hamilton has announced the release of additional funding by the Health and Social Care Board to provide a support package for recruitment in the care sector worth £1.6m from today, 1st February 2016.


The package will provide funds for Care and Nursing homes as well as the domiciliary care sector. The Minister said: “The Care Sector is a crucial partner in the delivery of vital services to vulnerable people in Northern Ireland. Having recently met with the sector, I am acutely aware of the different challenges they face including recruitment.


This support package, worth a total of £1.6m, released by the Board should bring some stability and confidence to the sector and reassure residents and their families that we are doing all we can to ensure their continued well being.


While I am sure this additional funding will be welcomed, I am well aware that there is much work to do to address the issues facing Independent Care Home and Domiciliary Care providers, including the forthcoming increase to the minimum wage.


That is why my Department will continue to work with the Health and Social Care Board and the Independent Sector to address the challenges facing the care sector and to develop solutions to ensure people continue to receive the care they need. A key part of this will be the setting of a new regional tariff for 16/17.


Notes to Editors


  1. Over recent months the HSC has received representations from the Nursing, Residential and Domiciliary Care Sector of the increased difficulties they are experiencing in recruiting staff.


  1. The rates paid by Trusts for domiciliary care from 1st February 2016 will be uplifted by 2% prior to an increase on 1st April 2016 to reflect the new living wage.


  1. The responsibility for setting the regional care home tariff lies with the HSCB.


  1. Media queries to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0074, or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5540 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @HealthServiceNI

Congratulations to all our finalists and winners from our N. Ireland Independent Care Awards evening which took place on Thursday 17th October at the Malone Lodge Hotel, Belfast.

A wonderful night was had by all.  Please find below the list of finalists and winners:

Flourishing Award

Harry Reid, Hutchinson Care Homes- Winner

Marie McCartney, Macklin Group – Highly Commended

Dr. Fred Wright, Belfast Central Mission – Highly Commended

Backbone Award

Lucy McCreery, Domestic Care Group - Joint Winner

Gillian Masson, Healthcare Ireland Group -Joint Winner

Lisa Steele, Hutchinson Care Homes

Andrew McQuillen, Belfast Central Mission

Care Team – Residential Housing with Care Award

Strand Residential Unit, Priory Group - Winner

Aaron House , Presbyterian Church in Ireland/Council for Social Witness

Burleigh Hill House, MD Healthcare

Rosevale Lodge, Four Seasons Healthcare

Nursing Award

Laura Campbell, Macklin Group - Winner

Josette Fernandez, Four Seasons Healthcare

Brenda Service, Wilson Group

Care Team – Nursing Home Award

Larne Care Centre, Wilson Group - Winner

Nursing Care Team, Castleview Private Nursing Home

Domnall Intermediate Care, Four Seasons Healthcare

Specialist Practice Award

Laura Ferguson, Four Seasons Healthcare - Winner

Laura Paterson Spa Nursing Homes Ltd

Mary Stevenson, Healthcare Ireland Group

Care Team – Domiciliary and Care at Home Award

Newtownabbey Team, Homecare Independent Living - Winner

Ards Peninsula Locality Support Team, Optimum Care

Rapid Response Team, Connected Health Ltd

Innovation Award

Ryan Williams, Connected Health Ltd - Winner

Recovery Star Model, Four Seasons Healthcare

Jacqui Corscadden, Age N.I.

Leadership Award

Kathie Stevenson, Beechvale Nursing Home - Winner

Kayleigh Hunniford, Priory Adult Care

Louise McConville, Radius Housing Association


Team Spirit Award

Burleigh Hill House, MD Healthcare - Winner