United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is pressing the government to ensure home care services are covered by the latest round of funding promised for providers to reduce COVID-19 transmission over the winter months.
The government announced today 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.
UKHCA policy director Colin Angel told Home Care Insight: “We understand that the grant determination letter, which will set-out the conditions of how the next iteration of the ICF can be used, may not be published until next week.
“UKHCA has been pressing Government to ensure that homecare services, including those which support people who fund their own care, are covered by the ICF, rather than relying on a postcode lottery of individual council’s decisions.
“We have also made the case that the ICF should be allowed to help employers ensure that staff are able to pay the wages of workers who are required to self-isolate.”
According to government data, just 13% of the first tranche of the £600m Infection Control Fund was dispersed to home care providers.
Since then, UKHCA has repeatedly called for funding to be increased to domiciliary care providers, who have experienced increased costs on PPE and staffing during the pandemic, and for local decision-making to reflect this.
Announcing the new round of funding today, 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.”