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Extra Government cash to support care homes in Staffordshire and Cheshire

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Government cash is aiming to reduce the spread of coronavirus in care homes in Staffordshire and Cheshire.

It is providing an additional £600 million through its Infection Control Fund.

Staffordshre County Council will receive £9,915,537, with 7,725 care home beds currently registered in the region.

£5,320,292 has been allocated to Cheshire East Council, with 4,110 beds registered.

And Stoke-on-Trent City Council will receive £3,143,450, with 2,449 beds in the city.

The cash comes in addition to £3.2 billion of financial support made available to local authorities to support key public services since the start of the crisis.

Care homes will be asked to restrict permanent and agency staff to working in only one care home wherever possible. The funding could be used to meet the additional costs of restricting staff to work in one care home and pay the wages of those self-isolating.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "This £600 million Infection Control Fund will help as we continue to reduce infections in care homes and save lives.

"From the very start of this outbreak, we have been working to protect our brilliant social care workforce and the most vulnerable in our society.

"Our package sets out clearly the extra steps local councils and care homes should be taking as we stamp out the spread of this virus."

Further measures include: 

  • All local authorities must conduct a daily review of care homes in their area to ensure care homes have the support they need with staffing, help with accessing PPE and other areas of operation
  • The NHS will ensure that each care home has a named clinical contact to provide better access to clinical advice through weekly check-ins to review their patients, and offer direct support for staff with use of equipment and medication
  • A wellbeing package for social care staff is also being rolled out today on the new CARE app including 2 new helplines, led by the Samaritans and Hospice UK. This will help support care staff with their mental health and wellbeing and support those who have experienced a traumatic death as part of their work or help with anxiety and stress

Minister for Care Helen Whately said: "Our care homes, and those working tirelessly to look after our loved ones are at the heart of our fight against this invisible enemy, which is why we’re doing everything we can to make sure the sector has all the support it needs to stop the spread and save lives. 

"Our support package introduces stronger measures on infection control and steps up clinical support to make sure there is a clinical lead assigned to every care home right across the country to offer advice and quicker support.

"This is an important set of measures to support care homes and their staff – to continue to do wonderful work caring for people, even at this most difficult of times."

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: "We have already provided councils with over £3.2 billion during this pandemic so that they can respond to the immediate pressures they are facing, including supporting social care.

"This new funding will be distributed to councils based on the number of care home beds in their area and will be passed on quickly to care providers.

"It will fund new measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in care homes, minimise infection, keep staff and residents safe and, ultimately, save lives."

Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, said: “Care staff are the heroes of this pandemic – working tirelessly to support those in our community who need it the most.

“I do not underestimate how challenging a time this is for people living and working in care. This new funding will make a real different to local care homes in our city.

“By putting in place stronger prevention, we can ensure that we continue to drive coronavirus out of our care homes, making them safer and better able to look after people who need it the most.”

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