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Gloucestershire Business News

Extra cash for care providers to help prevent spread of COVID-19

Gloucestershire County Council has received £7.7million from the Government to help tackle the spread of coronavirus in care homes and to protect those who receive care at home.

The money comes from the new national Infection Control Grant, set up to help halt the spread of COVID-19 in and between care homes, by limiting staff movement and protecting wages. 

Seventy five per cent of the fund will be allocated to care homes supporting vulnerable adults, and the remaining twenty five per cent given to those who provide care for individuals in their own home.

Care homes who provide residential care can use the funds to:

* Fully pay staff wages if they are self-isolating

* Pay staff to only work in one care home, including agency staff

* Increase staff so they are limited to working with one group of residents

* Recruit more staff to make sure that there is enough to keep one home running, limiting their movement between residents

* Pay for transport for staff so they do not have to use public transport

* Provide accommodation for staff who are living apart from their families to reduce social interaction outside work

Organisations who provide care at home have been particularly hit by the crisis. 

The extra money will be used to cover additional staff costs and private travel expenses they have incurred through measures they have taken to protect themselves and those they look after during these difficult times.

The council has already received the first instalment, which will be paid to care providers over the next few days. 

The second instalment will be received and distributed in July.

Since the start of the outbreak, together with its partners, the council has increased the support available to care homes including: an extra £2.6 million in funding to date; making sure they have adequate supplies of PPE and are trained to use it; improved access to COVID-19 testing; screening of patients before hospital discharge; and regular infection prevention and control advice.

Councillor Carole Allaway Martin, cabinet member for adult social care commissioning, said: "Our care home and home care staff play a crucial role in the fight against coronavirus, protecting the most vulnerable people in our county, so it is important that they receive as much support as possible. 

"This money will go a long way to doing just this, so that care staff can continue to do the fantastic job of looking after people during these difficult times."

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