Adult social care given £250 million to continue coronavirus protections
The Government announces the continuation of the Infection Control Fund and funding for testing to protect people in adult social care.
Over a quarter of a billion has been given to extend support for adult social care to deal with COVID-19 beyond June, the Government has announced.
The new money will be a continuation of Infection Control and Testing Fund, which was due to run until the end of the month and will now last until the end of September.
The money will be split between £142.5 million Infection Control Funding and £108.8 million for testing.
The Government says the fund will help protect people in adult social care by continuing to meet the cost of infection prevention and control measures as restrictions in wider society are eased.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said the latest support package announced for social care brings the total to an extra £2 billion pledged during the pandemic.
“We are keeping up our support for social care through the pandemic. This new funding will help care services continue to protect those they look after and their staff from this cruel virus,” Whately said.
Infection Control Funding is used by care homes and home care providers to keep their staff and residents safe, using it ensure staff who are isolating receive their normal wages while doing so, and ensure that members of staff work in only one care home where possible. Some providers have also used the fund to support recruitment of additional staff (and volunteers) if they’re needed to enable staff to work in only one care home.
Testing funding will continue to support providers with the costs associated with ongoing testing in care settings. This includes funding to support visitor testing to ensure residents can see their loved ones as safely as possible.
Responding the announcement of an extension, ADASS President Stephen Chandler welcomed the funding announcement but that other areas of social care funding still lacked certainty.
"We welcome the extension of the Infection Control Fund and support for testing in adult social care and believe that it is vital that the Government continues to prioritise adult social care in its on-going response to the pandemic. We now need certainty for all other aspects of adult social care funding so that we can ensure that everyone continues to get the care and support they need."
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said the extension of the fund is “very welcome”.
“The adult social care provider sector has worked extremely hard to continue to protect the people it supports and cares for through extensive infection control and testing procedures. This funding is a recognition of these efforts,” Green said, adding that they will “work at speed” to ensure the money is rolled out to the front line where it is most needed and where providers have been “anxiously waiting” for news.
The Department for Health and Social Care says free PPE is still being provided to the care sector until March 2022 and to date, more than 35 million PCR swab test kits and 85 million LFDs have been sent to care homes.
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