Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will give care homes discretion to decide on the best use of funding allocated under the Infection Control Fund.
The £600 million Infection Control Fund was set up to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience. It provides funds in addition to the £3.7 billion of general funding provided to local authorities, which can be used to support adult social care. Public Health England advice is that one of the key mitigations against transmission was through restricting staff movements between care homes wherever feasible. Taking this advice and feedback from care providers regarding workforce costs into account, care home providers may use the fund to support the implementation of a new set of measures. These measures also include paying staff full pay to isolate, and other infection control matters as set out in the grant determination. Local authorities have greater discretion over the use of 25% of the funding, which may be used on other COVID-19 infection control measures.