A £600m Infection Control Fund has been introduced by the government as part of a COVID-19 support package for care homes.
The Fund, which is ring fenced for social care, will be given to local authorities to ensure care homes can continue to halt the spread of coronavirus by helping them cover the costs of implementing measures to reduce transmission.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) said: “This £600 million Infection Control Fund will help as we continue to reduce infections in care homes and save lives.
“From the very start of this outbreak, we have been working to protect our brilliant social care workforce and the most vulnerable in our society.
“Our package sets out clearly the extra steps local councils and care homes should be taking as we stamp out the spread of this virus.”
The government said care homes will be asked to restrict permanent and agency staff to working in only one care home wherever possible. The funding could also be used to meet the additional costs of restricting staff to work in one care home and pay the wages of those self-isolating.
In further measures all local authorities have been directed to conduct a daily review of care homes in their area to ensure they have the support they need with staffing, access PPE and other areas.
The NHS is to ensure that each care home has a named clinical lead to provide better access to clinical advice, including weekly check-ins to review patients and to offer direct support with use of equipment and medication.
A wellbeing package for social care staff is also being rolled out today on the new CARE app including two new helplines, led by the Samaritans and Hospice UK. This will help support care staff with their mental health and wellbeing and support those who have experienced a traumatic death as part of their work or help with anxiety and stress.
Further details of the Samaritans helpline can be found here https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/health-and-care/here-listen-support-line-nhs-people/