Below, the County Councils Network responds to this announcement of a social care plan.
Cllr David Fothergill, health and social care spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said:
“The County Councils Network welcomes the focus on social care in today’s press conference. Alongside the NHS, social care is at the frontline of the fight against Coronavirus and therefore a rapid expansion of testing in care homes is essential, but we should not underestimate the volume of testing that will be required to combat the spread of the disease, nor the complexity of doing this in large rural counties. Councils will do all they can to support the government’s commitments announced today.
“The £1.6bn provided to councils for Coronavirus-related impacts was welcome. However, it is now clear that it is insufficient to meet the new demands placed on councils and care homes and will run out in the coming weeks. Councils have pledged to support their social care providers, increasing the fees paid to these providers to meet their higher costs. However, almost two-thirds of the additional funding provided by government will be swallowed up by these increases, leaving little to meet the escalating care challenges over the coming weeks.”
“Therefore, the social care plan published today must be backed by a further injection of funding for councils to respond to the crisis, alongside a more substantial effort to ensure all councils and care homes have sufficient supply of personal protection equipment (PPE). While supplies of PPE have improved in recent weeks, we still have concerns that councils and care providers are not receiving the same priority as the NHS. The government must continue to work closely with councils and Local Resilience Forums to improve both the supply and distribution this vital equipment.”