£546m care home package announced

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a £546 million funding package to help protect care homes from coronavirus this winter.

Speaking initially to The Sun, the Prime Minister said that the plan will include funding to ensure staff are limited to working in one home and compensated for any reduced hours. Further funding will also be spent to help care workers reduce their use of public transport, and stock up on personal protective equipment.

The Infection Control Fund, set up in May, has now been extended until March 2021, helping care providers pay staff full wages when they are self-isolating, and enable staff to work in only one care home, reducing the risk of spreading the infection.

Discussing the current state of coronavirus on care homes, Johnson said that there may need to be restrictions on family visits to care homes following concerns about the rates of infection.

The admission follows a call by Labour for a ‘clear winter plan’ to protect care homes amid signs they are experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “From the very beginning we have done everything possible to make sure our social care system is protected and has the resources it needs to keep our brilliant workforce and those they care for safe.

“This new funding of over half a billion pounds will support not only care home residents, but also some of the most vulnerable in society living at home and in supported living. I know this will give peace of mind to so many, and we will set out further detail in our Adult Social Care Winter Plan this week.”