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Care providers to get £500m to control coronavirus this winter
17 September 2020, 13:22
Care providers across England are set to receive half a billion pounds to help better tackle coronavirus in care homes this winter, the Government has announced.
The Infection Control Fund, which was initially set up in May, will give the sector a further £546m for the winter months, and will ensure staff only need to work in one home to reduce the risk of transmission.
Staff will also be able to be paid in full if they are forced to self-isolate.
The total amount of funding offered to care providers amid the pandemic has now surpassed £1.1bn, which the government stresses is part of its commitment to keep residents and staff safe.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he hoped the cash would bring "peace of mind" to those in the sector, and promised further details would be released this week.
He 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."
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Health Minister Edward Argar said the funds would be in place to make sure care workers felt "no need" to go into work and put people at risk, and also so they don't feel pressured to take on shifts in various homes.
He told LBC: "It's not everyone that's going to need to access this.
"We think this is a reasonable and significant sum of money to help protect care homes further, building on what was done earlier in the summer."
The announcement comes as the government is expected to reveal new restrictions on parts of North East England after a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
Boris Johnson, too, has warned of tougher action to be taken nationwide if Christmas is to be protected.
Speaking to The Sun, the prime minister said government would do "all we can" to stop the spread in care homes.
"Be in no doubt we're going to do absolutely all we can to stop the spread in care homes," he said.
"And I'm afraid it's an incredibly difficult thing, but we are going to have to place some restrictions on people, visitors being able to go into care homes."