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The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that care providers will be given an extra £546 million to reduce COVID-19 infection and help protect residents and staff throughout winter.

The Infection Control Fund, set up in May, has now been extended until March 2021, with an extra £546 million to help the care sector restrict the movement of staff between care homes to stop the spread of the virus.

The fund will help care providers pay staff full wages when they are self-isolating, and enable staff to work in only one care home, reducing the risk of spreading the infection.

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This brings the total funding for infection control measures in care homes to over £1.1 billion and underlines the government’s commitment to ensure adult social care has the resources it needs to keep residents and staff safe.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock 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.”

Data published by DHSC in July showed the funding has helped providers to take key steps to improve infection prevention and control in care settings, including restricting staff movement in care homes and paying staff to self-isolate.

A recent letter has been circulated to care providers across England, urging them to prevent further spread of COVID-19 after the country has experienced a spike in confirmed new cases. The letter recommends that care providers ramp up testing to help locate where the coronavirus is in the community and prevent transmission amongst care staff and residents.

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