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Infection Control Fund just a drop in the ocean

Care England is calling for more financial support for adult social care.

The representative body for independent providers of adult social care presented the government with evidence that the sector needs more financial help to get through the pandemic.

In particular, Care England sought to highlight the limits of the Infection control Fund (ICF) in securing the future sustainability of the sector.

The body said the ICF is not enough to service all of the eight priorities laid out in the Infection Control Fund Guidance, with less than 50p per resident per day per Infection Control Fund measure available for homes.

It highlighted that the ICF is not a large amount when considering the vast nature of the social care sector. For example, the adult social care workforce is of equal size to the NHS labour force.

Care England also stressed that coronavirus is still a very serious concern for providers of care both for older people and younger adults with learning disabilities and/or autism thus providers still have to make tough decisions on what to prioritise.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: ‘Over the past weeks and months, Ministers have repeatedly deflected the funding pleas of adult social care providers, opposition parties, and representative bodies by referring to the Infection Control Fund.

‘At times it has felt as if the government has attempted to present the ICF as a silver bullet for the funding needs of the adult social care sector when in fact our latest research shows that the ICF, although welcome is but a, drop in the ocean.

‘This is a tough message to deliver as we are grateful to the government for their assistance, but unfortunately, there is not a deep enough understanding of the way in which the sector operates and it cannot be expected to operate on a shoestring.

‘Put crudely, the Infection Control Fund would be spent in the NHS budget in less than two days.’

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: ‘Protecting staff and residents has been a priority throughout the pandemic.

‘On top of the £1.1bn fund to support infection prevention measures, local authorities have been allocated £4.6bn of funding to reduce pressures caused by the pandemic, including on adult social care, and £1.5 billion of funding for social care in 2020-21.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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