Last reviewed 14 December 2021

A package of new measures has been announced by the Government to protect the social care sector from Covid-19, including a £300 million extension to help recruit and reward the workforce.

The additional £300 million boost for care workers will go towards “pay for bonuses and bringing forward planned pay rises for care staff, funding overtime and staff banks increasing workforce numbers up until the end of March”.

It comes as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has led to infections doubling every two to three days.

The £300 million is in addition to the £162.5 million announced in October to support recruitment and retention.

The Government’s announcement of new measures, made on 10 December, includes extra support for a Covid-19 booster vaccination programme to protect the vulnerable and those providing care.

The Government said specialist vaccination teams are being expanded and deployed to guarantee all care home residents and staff, as well as people who are housebound and their caregivers, are offered the booster, with those most at risk being prioritised for the jab.

It said more than 70% of older adult care home residents have already received a booster vaccine, and 97% of older adult care homes have been visited by vaccination teams.

Those who haven’t been visited, normally due to an outbreak, will receive visits shortly, as care homes will be able to request follow-up visits from vaccination teams for staff and residents.

Home visit payments for GPs will be increased to accelerate the home care programme.

There will also be an update to guidance on care home visiting and testing, and extra guidance on infection prevention and control (IPC) measures and PPE, to keep residents, staff and visitors safe.

The Government has already committed to providing free PPE in care and an additional £388 million to support testing and IPC, announced in September.