Care England has repeated calls to Government about the need for greater clarity around extending COVID-19 relief funds.
The key funds include:
- Infection Control Fund.
- Adult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund.
- Workforce Capacity Fund.
Care England has welcomed these funds as a critical means of delivering safe and effective person-centred care despite the unprecedented resource, operational and workforce costs which the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed upon the sector.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said, ‘Unfortunately COVID-19 doesn’t end on 31st March, but many of the relief funds for the adult social care sector, the frontline, do. Without an extension to these relief funds, the sector will be extremely hard pushed to deliver rigorous testing or infection control measures that are so vital in the fight against this virus.
‘Providers need to plan and whilst we really hope that extension funds will be put in place it is necessary to understand the way the sector works, in order that it can plan the best delivery of care possible which takes time, resources, certainty and budgeting.’
NCF said emergency funding to the care sector has been an essential lifeline, enabling care providers to meet the extensive Government policy requirements in how they operate and to manage safe visits in care homes. Following the Chancellor’s announcement last week outlining the Government’s budget to restart the economy, there was a deafening silence when it came to social care. The Chancellor’s address to parliament lacked specific measures for social care despite the impending end of the emergency funding.
Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum (NCF) said, ‘We call on the Government to immediately confirm the continuation of the funding that is essential to support the testing and infection control requirements that underpin the ability for homes to offer visiting. This will enable families and providers to work together as true partners in care to ensure that the wonderful memories made this precious mothering Sunday do not quickly fade away as the end of the fiscal year draws near. Having reached this point, after many months of campaigning, of the Government enabling visiting in care homes, we must not then face a cliff edge where this cannot be sustained.’
Visit the Government website for more information about the Adult Social Care Infection Control fund.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published guidance for care home providers on limiting staff movement between settings in all but exceptional circumstances to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection.