Funding totalling £108.8m has been allocated to support providers with the costs associated with ongoing testing of people entering care settings, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced.
The cash injection comes as part of more than £251m of additional funding for the sector, with the remaining £142.5m supporting the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund, it said.
The new sum will extend the Infection Control and Testing Fund until the end of September, after it was initially due to expire in June.
Infection Control Funding can be used to make sure isolating staff receive their normal wages and that staff members work in just one care home where possible.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive at Care England, said: ‘The extension of the ICF and Testing Fund is very welcome and we applaud the DHSC in securing this extension.
‘The adult social care provider sector has worked extremely hard to continue to protect the people it supports and cares for through extensive infection control and testing procedures. This funding is a recognition of these efforts.’
Minister for Care Helen Whately said: ‘We are keeping up our support for social care through the pandemic. This new funding will help care services continue to protect those they look after and their staff from this cruel virus.’
Earlier this month, the DHSC confirmed that vaccination would be mandatory for all healthcare workers entering care homes, including Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors.
Kate Terroni, chief inspector of adult social care at CQC, told our sister title Management in Practice: ‘We would look to hold registered managers to account in a way which is proportionate. However, I also want to recognise that the majority of providers are working to comply with guidance and ensure everyone has access to a vaccine.’