The National Care Forum (NCF), the representative body for UK not-for-profit social care providers has welcomed the government’s plan announced yesterday to protect care homes from Covid-19 over winter.

The Adult Social Care Winter Plan aims to support care providers in preventing the spread of coronavirus in care settings. Care workers will be provided with free PPE; a new dashboard will monitor care home infections and help local government and providers respond quicker; and a chief nurse for adult social care will be appointed to represent social care nurses and provide clinical leadership to the workforce.

Vic Rayner, NCF executive director said: “It is very positive that it appears the government has listened to the needs of the care sector in its headline announcements about the Winter Plan.

“NCF have been raising the issues facing providers – including the substantial costs of PPE and the importance of the Infection Control Fund in all its discussions with the Department of Health and Social Care. We also welcome the role of the chief nursing officer for adult social care, having been consistent champions of the role of nursing in social care, and feel that this role will do much to stimulate interest and recognition of the vital contribution of nurses to the social care sector.

“It is less clear that the plan will cover other essential issues, such as improving the reward and recognition for our 1.5 million-strong care workforce, who continue to work 24/7 to provide care and support across our communities. And while we support effective oversight and regulation, the headlines suggests yet more strong action and enforcement in an already tightly regulated and monitored sector. This does not give confidence at a time when we can only deliver on our ultimate shared objective around the provision of quality care in the midst of a pandemic in winter by working together in partnership. The devil will, as always, be in the detail – we need to see the full plan now to ensure it meets expectations”

Date published: September 18, 2020

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