A new adult social care winter plan will aim to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections in care homes, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.
The plan includes the provision of free PPE and a £546 million Infection Control Fund for social care. Care providers must stop all but essential movement of staff between care homes to prevent the spread of infection. Additionally, a new Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care will be appointed to provide leadership to the social care nursing workforce.
‘We are entering a critical phase in our fight against coronavirus with winter on the horizon. Our priority over the next 6 months is to make sure we protect those most vulnerable receiving care and our incredibly hard-working workforce by limiting the spread of the virus and preventing a second spike,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock.
‘This winter plan gives providers the certainty they need when it comes to PPE and provides additional support to help care homes to limit the movement of staff, stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives. We will be monitoring the implementation of this carefully and will be swift in our actions to protect residents and colleagues across the country.’
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.
‘Our brilliant care workers have been tirelessly looking after our loved ones throughout this pandemic, and COVID-19 rates have come right down in social care through the summer. With cases beginning to rise now, we must take the strongest possible action to stop the virus and protect people,’ said Minister for Care, Helen Whately.
‘The creation of the Chief Nurse for Social Care is also an important step and will provide leadership to social care nurses and the wider care workforce who often work unseen. The skills and compassion of our care workers must be fully recognised and supported.’