Minister for Care Gillian Keegan image
Minister for Care Gillian Keegan

The UK Government is providing an additional £60 million to local authorities to support the adult social care response to COVID-19 in January.

The Adult Social Care – Omicron Support Fund is on top of the £388 million infection control and testing fund announced earlier in 2021 to prevent infections and provide testing in the care sector.

As cases of Omicron rise rapidly around the country, the additional £60 million will help protect both those who receive care, the family and friends who support them, as well as the adult social care workforce.

Local authorities can use the funding to support the sector and protect people from COVID-19 infection. This includes investing in improved ventilation, increasing the use of direct payments – which are offered to people with eligible social care needs so they have choice and control over their care and support arrangements – or paying for COVID-19 sickness and self-isolation pay for staff.

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Minister for Care Gillian Keegan said: “Protecting care staff and people who use social care services continues to be a priority, especially as cases surge and Omicron spreads rapidly around the country.

“Today’s extra funding will ensure that we continue to support adult social care to keep people safe and prevent outbreaks. A huge thank you goes out to care workers for all they are doing to care for people and keep themselves and others safe this winter.”

In December 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) revealed that a record total of £1.4 billion will be made available over three years to help increase the fee rates local authorities pay to care providers. This funding is intended to help councils respond effectively to increasing social care demand and cost pressures, as well as help local authorities support a fairer cost of care.

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