The Government has announced that Southend is to receive a share of a £600 million Infection Control Fund, launched to reduce the transmission of Coronavirus on care homes. Southend will receive £2,734,683 to support local care homes. There are currently 2,113 care home beds registered in the area.
The funding will be used to ensure that care homes can continue their efforts to halt the spread of Coronavirus by helping them cover the costs of implementing measures to reduce transmission. This includes rolling out training on infection control for staff, reducing transmission by supporting providers to reduce workforce movements and stepping up NHS clinical support to care homes.
The fund comes on top of £3.2 billion that has already been made available to local authorities to support key public services, including social care, since the start of the crisis. It forms part of a wider package of support the Government is making available to care homes, which includes ensuring all care homes have the support they need with staffing, accessing PPE and providing a named clinical contact from the NHS for every single care home. The named contact will assist care homes with weekly check-ins to review patients while helping staff with the use of equipment and medication.
The Government has also rolled out a new wellbeing package for social care staff, including a new helpline, led by the Samaritans and Hospice UK, to support care staff with their mental health and welling. You can access the helpline by phoning 0300 131 7000.
Sir David said “care staff have worked selflessly throughout this crisis to support those in our community who need it the most. This new funding will make a real difference to local care homes in Southend. By putting in place stronger prevention, we can ensure that we continue to drive Coronavirus out of our care homes, making them safer and better able to look after people who need it the most.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “this £600 million Infection Control Fund will help as we continue to reduce infections in care homes and save lives. 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”.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said “we have already provided councils with over £3.2 billion during this pandemic so that they can respond to the immediate pressures they are facing, including supporting social care This new funding will be distributed to councils based on the number of care home beds in their area and will be passed on quickly to care providers. It will fund new measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in care homes, minimise infection, keep staff and residents safe and, ultimately, save lives”.