The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has called for “significant additional funding” for the home care sector following the publication of the government’s Winter Plan.
The Department of Health and Social Care said the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, published on Friday, will aim to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections across all care settings.
But ADASS says the document is heavily focused on safety and wellbeing in care homes, and there is more work to be done to protect those providing and receiving care at home.
ADASS president James Bullion said: “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.”
As part of the plan, the government announced that the Infection Control Fund (ICF), set up in May, has now been extended until March 2021, with an extra £546 million to help the care sector stop the spread of the virus.
But the Department of Health and Social Care is yet to provide details on how the funding will be allocated.
According to government data, just 13% of the first tranche of the £600m Infection Control Fund was dispersed to home care providers.
Under the new proposals, people receiving adult social care and care workers will receive free PPE, a new dashboard will monitor care home infections and help local government and providers respond quicker, and a Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care will be appointed to represent social care nurses and provide clinical leadership to the workforce.
ADASS has previously said that social care reform must be centred on a “home first” principle and a shift away from long-stay care homes.