Multi-million-pound investment in Northumberland’s home care sector has helped to end a recruitment and retention crisis, according to the county council.

A report presented to cabinet outlined the impact of four initiatives introduced since 2022 to tackle the issues faced by home care services.

Northumberland county councillor Wendy Pattison, cabinet member for caring for adults, said: "After having previously been in a difficult situation where we were struggling to source care for people, I am delighted to see that we now seem to be back to normal.

"In recent months, we’ve almost always been able to arrange home care without any problems."

The council approved plans in 2022 to invest in home care and other services by offering providers funding to pay a rate equivalent to the Real Living Wage.

Further funding was then given to support an 80 per cent increase in mileage rates paid to carers who drive to people’s homes in their own cars.

The council brought forward an increase in home care workers’ pay during the winter of 2022/2023 and then funded a sustained further increase from July 2023.

It also introduced the Northumberland Guarantee at the start if this year, addressing recruitment obstacles.