Plans are being put in place by the Government to ban carers from working in more than one care home, according to a press report.
The Daily Mail reported the plans are being drawn up by the Government after carer movement was attributed to be a cause of the cross-infection of care homes during the first wave of the pandemic.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are committed to preventing infections in care homes, protecting staff and residents, and saving lives. Stopping staff movement in and between care settings is critical to minimise the risk of infection of COVID-19, and our Adult Social Care Winter Plan – backed by an extra £546 million – is clear that providers should limit all staff movement unless absolutely necessary.
“We have said that limitations on staff movement will be enforced through regulations and we will come forward with detailed proposals in due course.”
The DHSC said it was supporting providers to put in place measures to stop staff movement with funding through the Infection Control Fund. It said the measures could include exclusivity arrangements with recruitment agencies and considering the recruitment of additional staff over the winter period.
Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group (ICG), said the ban could severely hamper the ability of care homes to fight COVID-19 and could force some to close.
“COVID-19 has stretched care and nursing homes to their absolute limit and this proposed ban on workers moving between settings might push some over the edge, at a time when we need every bed available,” Mike said.
“There are already 100,000 care vacancies on any one day and if homes cannot use staff who move between homes, then where are the staff to cope with this crisis going to come from?”
The ICG head questioned whether a similar ban should be put in place for CQC inspectors who regularly travel between homes.