Matt Hancock has announced a further £341 million in funding for the adult social care sector.
Speaking in Parliament a few moments ago, the Health and Social Care Secretary said the funding will help with infection control and testing to allow more of those receiving care to see their loved ones.
“The pandemic has tested our NHS and social care system like never before,” he said, thanking those working in the NHS and care.
The additional £341 million for adult social care takes the total infection control fund to almost £1.35 billion and support for rapid testing to £288 million, with the money helping to keep residents and staff safe while supporting visiting in line with the latest guidance. This funding is in addition to free PPE and further support for designated settings to ensure safe hospital discharge.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “This extension of funding represents a lifeline for care providers. We are pleased that the Government has heeded the calls of Care England as without such funding the sector would be in jeopardy. Care staff across the length and breadth of England continue to implement enhanced infection control procedures to keep residents safe.”
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We are grateful to the Government for making more funding available to help care providers tackle COVID-19 – every penny is welcome.
“As we go forward providers on the front line are still facing rising costs due to the pandemic and extra costs to enable visiting to take place, through extra staffing needs, for example.
“This is likely to increase as we go forward, especially if the Government announces that more than the current one visitor be allowed.
“We need to see the detail and understand exactly what this funding is to be spent on.
“My fear is that by the time this money reaches the front line, where it is needed, it might not be enough to give care providers the help they need.
“My biggest desire is to see the long-term plan for long-overdue reform of the sector which we have been promised for so long.”
Vic Rayner, CEO of the NCF, said: “At the last gasp, the government has announced an extension to the vital infection control fund and the funding for rapid testing, which had been due to lapse at the end of the month. The Secretary of State announced an extension of the fund by £341 million up until the end of June 2021. The full grant conditions for this have not yet been published, so at this stage it is not possible for local authorities or care providers to plan what this will mean on the ground.”