-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

Government releases adult social care winter plan

24 September 2020

Minister of State for Care Helen Whately told Parliament that government would be:

“Working relentlessly to ensure sufficient testing capacity and continuing to deliver and review the social care testing strategy in line with the latest evidence and scientific advice. We will also improve the flow of testing data to everyone who needs it.

“Providing free PPE for COVID-19 needs in line with current guidance to care home and domiciliary care providers via the PPE portal until March 2021.

“Introducing tightened measures around visiting. We recognise that visits are important for the wellbeing of residents and loved ones, but with higher rates of Covid-19 in the community, extra precautions will be needed. We have set these out in revised guidance. Infection control is paramount and in designated ‘areas of intervention’ visiting will be stopped except in exceptional circumstances, such as end-of-life.

“Stopping all but essential movement of staff between care settings to stop the virus spreading. We know that the majority of care homes have already done this – now we are taking this restriction further and will enforce this through regulation.”

She thanked the “dedicated workforce of 1.5 million people, who alongside the 5.4 million plus women, men and young people who provide unpaid care, have made an invaluable contribution to the national effort”.

She continued: “This doesn’t diminish the need for a long-term plan for social care. Putting social care on a sustainable footing, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, is one of the biggest challenges our society faces.”

DR UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “We welcome some of the proposed measures, but the proof will be in the delivery. The plan is focused on care homes. We want to see a plan for every disabled person, whether they are living in care homes or living independently in the community, or in supported living. We know that there is currently a national shortage of tests available. We know of disabled care home residents who have been denied visitation rights since the pandemic started, even outside and socially distanced. The government appears to be committing to delivering a winter of isolation devoid of any contact with loved ones. This is utterly inhumane and we would urge the government to produce guidance on how those living in care homes can receive safe visitation.”