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Minister for Care publishes adult social winter plan

The Minister for Care, Helen Whatley, has today (21st Sept) published a letter to local authorities in relation to the adult social care winter plan.

She begins by saying many will have seen the Director of Social Care Delivery Stuart Miller’s recent letter to the care sector, drawing attention, at the first opportunity, to the signs of rising infection rates in care settings, emphasising the need to maintain vigorous infection control and to make sure that everyone is doing the right things to reduce the risk of transmission.

Her letter signifies the launch of the Adult Social Care Winer Plan, this builds on the work of David Pearson’s Adult Social Care Covid-19 Taskforce which convened this summer.

It sets out the actions being taken at a national level to support those who provide and receive care. It also outlines the actions every local area (local authorities and NHS partners) and every care provider must be taking right now, if we are to maintain our collective efforts to keep the virus at bay.

The plan to protect social care includes increased support to the sector, and further expectations and requirements of care providers, local authorities and NHS organisations to make sure everything possible is being done to keep people safe.

She stated that whilst these polices put heightened demand on already stretched organisations, they are key to protect people from Covid-19 and are based on clinical guidance and lessons already learned during the pandemic.

An additional £546m is being injected into the Infection Control Fund, on top of the original £600m, and the £3.7billion provided to local authorities to support all Covid-19 activity. Furthermore, a further £588m for the NHS to support the safe discharge of patients from hospital.

She concludes her letter by saying: “As we consider the prospect of this pandemic persisting into the winter months, keeping our health and care staff healthy has never been more important. This goes beyond vaccinations, to our fundamental duty to support their physical and mental health regardless of the virus’ impact.

“I know many providers have been taking extra steps to support the physical and mental health of staff, and I cannot emphasise enough how vital it is that each and every employer makes sure that they have done all they can to protect and support care workers through this difficult time.

“Our support for their dedicated service is unwavering. Guided by the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, supported by the boosted Infection Control Fund, and united in our determination to defeat this virus, we will continue to work with you all to keep everyone safe and well – during this pandemic and beyond.”

To read the full letter, click here.

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