ESSEX County Council has pledged to inject a staggering £18.6million into the residential care sector in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The funds will help increase the number of residential beds available, which will ultimately help free up urgently needed space within hospitals.

The financial boost comes as a result of the continued spread of Covid-19 and following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to lock down the country.

Councillor John Spence, cabinet member for health and adult social care said: “The extra money means that adult social care can ensure that, wherever possible, people with social care related needs are able to be cared for out of hospital, freeing capacity for people with Covid-19 related complications.

“The council is taking steps to ensure maximum flexibility to procure care home beds as well as exploring other facilities to support this drive.”

A care provider in Tendring is also hoping to recruit a “large intake” of carers in a bid to cope with increased demand in light of the pandemic.

Home Instead Senior Care provides vital services at the homes of elderly people living in seaside towns, Clacton, Frinton and Walton.

The company, which was recently rated outstanding by inspectors, is now calling on kind-hearted people to join its frontline.

many people have lost their jobs or seen doubt cast over their employment, but Home Instead Senior Care is hoping its recruitment drive will help. Jean Allen, owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Clacton, Frinton and Walton said: “We want to throw a lifeline out to people who might have been made redundant or asked to reduce their hours in the wake of the coronavirus.

“The pandemic has caused distress, anxiety and worry to many people, and as a company that cares for the elderly, we need you more than ever.

“Our service is companionship-based so people don’t need to have experience as full training is provided.

“What’s really important is that people have the right attitude and a caring and empathetic nature.”

The award-winning Stow Healthcare, which runs Halstead Hall, in Halstead, has also launched a new campaign to create work for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the virus.

The company has vowed to recruit new staff members at a time where providing quality care to the most vulnerable is essential.