A new adult social care winter plan will aim to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections in care settings throughout the winter months, the Health and Social Care Secretary confirmed today.
As part of the plan:
- – People receiving adult social care and care workers will receive free PPE.
- – A new dashboard will monitor care home infections and help local government and providers respond quicker.
- – A Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care will be appointed to represent social care nurses and provide clinical leadership to the workforce.
Local providers must restrict all but essential movement of staff between settings to reduce transmission, supported by an extra £546 million for the Infection Control Fund. This will help care providers pay staff full wages and enable staff to work in only one care home.
This brings the total funding for infection control measures in care homes to over £1.1 billion and underlines the government’s commitment to ensure adult social care has the resources it needs to keep residents and staff safe.
The government is prepared to strengthen monitoring and regulation by local authorities and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), including asking them to take strong action where improvement is required or staff movement is not being restricted. This can include restricting a service’s operation, issuing warning notices or placing conditions on a provider’s registration. Further details of how the winter plan will be enforced will be set out shortly.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:
The new Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care role will provide clinical and professional leadership, while upholding and raising standards among the care workforce. Recruitment will begin in October to ensure the department and sector can benefit from the professional expertise the new role will bring.
To improve understanding of where infections are taking place in care homes, a dashboard will be introduced as a single point of information for local, regional and national government to monitor outbreaks and measures being implemented to reduce it.
Minister for Care, Helen Whately, said:
The unveiling of the winter plan will be supported by the publishing of the Adult Social Care COVID-19 Support Taskforce report highlighting the effectiveness of the fund and the care home support package.
Chair of the Adult Social Care COVID-19 Support Taskforce, David Pearson, said:
The report will also look at how we can learn from the first phase of the virus and sets out a number of recommendations to the government to prepare the sector and the workforce for winter.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP, said:
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive, Care England, said:
Pic Source: PA