Coronavirus: Government pumps fresh £600m into care homes

Health secretary Matt Hancock said the £600 million Infection Control Fund will be used to reduce infections in care homes and save lives. Photo: Getty

The government has pumped a fresh £600m ($726.2m) into care homes, in a bid to stop coronavirus spreading.

The money will be given to local authorities to ensure care homes can continue to halt the spread of coronavirus by helping them cover the costs of implementing measures to reduce transmission.

These include costs involved with restricting staff to work in one care home and to also pay the wages of those self-isolating.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “This £600m infection control fund will help as we continue to reduce infections in care homes and save lives.

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“From the very start of this outbreak, we have been working to protect our brilliant social care workforce and the most vulnerable in our society.

“Our package sets out clearly the extra steps local councils and care homes should be taking as we stamp out the spread of this virus.”

Care homes have been hardest hit by coronavirus and more than a third of the coronavirus-related deaths in the UK have been among care home residents in England and Wales.

Figures show that there were 12,526 deaths among care home residents during March and April where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

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In further measures, all local authorities have been directed to conduct a daily review of care homes in their area to ensure they have the support they need with staffing and access to PPE.

The NHS is also to ensure that each care home has a named clinical lead to provide better access to clinical advice, including weekly check-ins to review patients and to offer direct support with use of equipment and medication.

Finally a wellbeing package for social care staff has been rolled out on the new CARE app including two new helplines, led by the Samaritans and Hospice UK.

This will help support care staff with their mental health and wellbeing and support those who have experienced a traumatic death as part of their work or help.