29 June 2021
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced new funding to help care services continue to protect those they look after and their staff from Covid-19 transmission.
Adult social care will be given over £250 million extra funding to continue its Covid-19 protections. The funds will boost the Infection Control Fund (ICF) and Covid-19 testing, bringing the total specific funding for the sector to over £2 billion.
Made up of £142.5 million ICF and £108.8 million for testing, the fund will continue to meet the cost of infection prevention and control measures as restrictions in wider society are eased, and to support rapid, regular Covid-19 testing of staff.
The new money will be a continuation of the Infection Control and Testing Fund, which was due to run until the end of the month and will now last until the end of September 2021.
Care England said it was happy to work at speed to ensure the successful roll out of the money to the front line where it is most needed. Care England Chief Executive Professor Martin Green said the announcement was very welcome, adding: “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.”
The funding will continue to support providers with the costs associated with ongoing testing in care settings, including funding to support visitor testing.
The ICF can be used to ensure staff who are isolating receive their normal wages; ensure members of staff work in only one care home where possible; limit or cohort staff to individual groups of residents or floors/wings; and support recruitment of additional staff, and volunteers, if they are needed to enable staff to work in only one care home.
Free PPE is being provided to the care sector until March 2022 and to date, more than 35 million PCR swab test kits and 85 million LFDs have been sent to care homes.
Updated information on grant determination will be provided in the DHSC’s document, Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund Ring-fenced Grant 2021: Guidance, here.