Matt Hancock has announced a further £341 million in funding for the adult social care sector.
Speaking in Parliament, the Health and Social Care Secretary said the funding will help with infection control and testing to allow more of those receiving care to see their loved ones.
“The pandemic has tested our NHS and social care system like never before,” he said, thanking those working in the NHS and care.
The news follows repeated calls from social care leaders to extend key relief packages, including the Infection Control Fund, Adult Social Care Rapid Testing and Workforce Capacity Fund, all of which set to come to an end on March 31.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said last week: “Unfortunately COVID-19 doesn’t end on 31 March, but many of the relief funds for the adult social care sector, the frontline, do. Without an extension to these relief funds the sector will be extremely hard pushed to deliver rigorous testing or infection control measures that are so vital in the fight against this virus.”
Supporting the call to extend COVID-19 relief funds, Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum, said: “We call on the government to immediately confirm the continuation of the funding that is essential to support testing and infection control requirements.
“This will enable families and providers to work together as true partners in care to ensure that the wonderful memories made this precious mothering Sunday do not quickly fade away as the end of the fiscal year draws near. Having reached this point, after many months of campaigning, of the government enabling visiting in care homes, we must not then face a cliff edge where this cannot be sustained.”