Adult social care in the UK is to receive an extra £250m funding to continue to protect against COVID-19 transmission.
A total of £142.5m of the funding will go towards infection control measures and £108.8m will go towards testing for COVID-19, supporting rapid, regular testing of staff to prevent transmission.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “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. It brings our total support to social care to £2 billion during the pandemic, along with billions of items of free PPE, over 120 million tests and the prioritisation of social care in the vaccination programme.”
Infection control funding
The funding is a continuation of the Infection Control and Testing Fund, which will now last until the end of September and is used by care homes and home care providers to keep their staff and residents safe. The funding can be used to:
- Ensure staff who are isolating receive their normal wages while doing so
- Ensure that members of staff work in only one care home where possible
- Limit or cohort staff to individual groups of residents or floors/wings, for example paying for extra staff cover to provide the necessary level of care and support to residents
- Support recruitment of additional staff (and volunteers) if they’re needed to enable staff to work in only one care home
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England, said: “The extension of the ICF and Testing Fund is very welcome, and we applaud the DHSC in securing this extension. 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.
“Care England is happy to work at speed to ensure the successful roll out of the money to the front line where it is most needed and where providers have been anxiously waiting for news.”
The testing funding will also support visitor testing to ensure residents can see their loved ones as safely as possible.