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Following the publication of the new ‘Adult social care: coronavirus (COVID-19) winter plan 2020 to 2021’ by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), James Bullion, ADASS President, has welcomed the plan, but says the next step must be to increase care at home.

The adult social care winter plan outlines the UK Government’s ambitions for the sector and the challenges facing adult social care this winter, with a particular focus on COVID-19.

It discusses the need for collaboration across health and social care services, technology enabled care services (TECS) and free personal protective equipment (PPE).

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Responding to the new plan, the ADASS president has said it is a welcome start, but a lot more needs to be done, highlighting the importance of increasing care at home and the long-term need for prioritising social care.

Commenting on the winter plan, James said: “Those of us who need care and support, carers and those who work in adult social care face arguably the most difficult winter ever.  The Winter Plan contains welcome announcements regarding the Infection Control Fund (ICF), free PPE, the strong emphasis on quality and safety of services, and the recognition of the work being done between local authorities and our partners locally. These measures will help ensure that we feel safer and more protected over the winter months.

“It is good to see the contribution of the 1.5 million people who provide care and support to older and disabled people being recognised.  It is vital that they are also rewarded and that money which is being given to providers makes its way into the pay packets of care staff and acts as an incentive for them to stay with us over the winter and beyond.

“The plan is a welcome start, but there is much more to do. The focus on safety and wellbeing in care homes is right, but a significant majority of people receive care and support in their own home.  The next step must be to increase care at home and to ensure that they are similarly protected.  This will require significant additional funding to enable people to live good lives and to not merely survive the pandemic.

“Many felt that social care was not sufficiently prioritised at the start of the current pandemic.  The winter plan must not be another short-term, partial fix, it must be followed by meaningful reform proposals that creates a better future and provides more of the care we all want for ourselves and our families.”

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