Extra £7.7m for care businesses to help prevent the spread of Covid
An extra £7.7 million has been given to Gloucestershire to help halt the spread of Covid-19 in and between care homes, by limiting staff movement and protecting wages.
The money comes from the new national Infection Control Grant, with 75 per cent of the fund expected to be allocated to care homes supporting vulnerable adults, and the remaining 25 per cent given to those who provide care for individuals in their own home.
Organisations that provide care at home are said to be particularly hit by the Covid crisis and the extra money will be used to cover additional staff costs and private travel expenses they have incurred – measures they have all taken to protect themselves and those they look after during these difficult times.
Gloucestershire County Council has already received the first instalment which will be paid to care providers over the next few days. The second instalment will be received and distributed in July 2020.
Cllr Carole Allaway Martin, cabinet member for adult social care commissioning at Gloucestershire County Council said: “Our care home, and home care staff play a crucial role in the fight against coronavirus, protecting the most vulnerable people in our county, so it is important that they receive as much support as possible. This money will go a long way to doing just this, so that care staff can continue to do the fantastic job of looking after people during these difficult times.”
Care homes who provide residential care can use the funds to:
Fully pay staff wages if they are self-isolating
Pay staff to only work in one care home, including agency staff
Increase staff so they are limited to working with one group of residents
Recruit more staff to make sure that there is enough to keep one home running, limiting their movement between residents
Pay for transport for staff so they do not have to use public transport
Provide accommodation for staff who are living apart from their families to reduce social interaction outside work
Since the start of the outbreak, together with its partners, the council has increased the support available to care homes.
Measure are said to include an extra £2.6million uplift in funding to date, making sure they have adequate supplies of PPE and are trained to use it, improved access to Covid-19 testing, screening of patients before hospital discharge, and regular infection prevention and control advice.