The government has set up a new taskforce that will oversee the implementation of its social care action plan.
The Department of Health and Social Care said the initiative will help end the transmission of coronavirus in the community and advise on a plan to support the social care sector through the next year.
The social care action plan, announced by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock in April, includes measures to boost access to PPE, ramp up testing in the sector and recruit 20,000 more staff.
Heading up the Social Care Sector Covid-19 Support Taskforce is David Pearson CBE, former president of ADASS, social care COVID-19 lead for the NHS and TEC Quality Chair for the TSA, a representative body for technology-enabled care.
The taskforce is also made up of representatives from Public Health England, the CQC, Care Providers Alliance, LGA, ADASS, Healthwatch England, MHCLG, Cabinet Office and DHSC.
“The social care sector is on the frontline of our coronavirus response. This taskforce will support the service by overseeing the delivery of the Social Care Action Plan and the Care Homes Intensive Support Package,” said Pearson.
“This will play an important part in ensuring we are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the sector, both for those who rely on care and support and the social care workforce.”
Welcoming the news, Colin Angel, policy director at United Kingdom Homecare Association, said: “UKHCA welcomes the creation of a taskforce to focus solely on the needs of social care in the pandemic. Infection control will continue to be one of the key challenges in coming months.
“We are pleased to see the Taskforce will be led by David Pearson CBE, who is a highly experienced social care commissioner, and look forward to continuing our work with him on the delivery of the government’s action plan.”
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said: “An expert-led task force is something we have called for many years, as a way to take social care forward.
“We are delighted to see this new task force announced and hope it works swiftly to not only help everyone who is looked after by social care through coronavirus, but also to look at the whole future of social care and guide it into a more sustainable future, with better funding and parity with the NHS.”