Social care taskforce announced
9 June, 2020
A social care taskforce has been set up to stop the spread of Covid-19 among all people who receive care, the government announced yesterday.
David Pearson, the newly appointed chairman of the “National Covid-19 Social Care Support Taskforce” acknowledged the crisis in care homes, which had seen several thousand vulnerable people die of Covid-19 since the pandemic reached the UK and said the body’s focus would be on stopping infection while trying to ensure the wellbeing of all people who received care and support, whether they lived in care homes or at home.
The taskforce is made up of representatives from PHE, CQC, Care Providers Alliance LGA, ADASS, Healthwatch England, MHCLG, Cabinet Office and DHSC.
“The taskforce will bring together the concerted and determined actions of both local and central government, in order to protect care home staff and residents, many of whom are considered extremely clinically vulnerable,” said Mr Pearson.
Health secretary Matt Hancock also announced an extension of the Covid-19 testing regime to include all staff and residents at all adult care homes in England, a service which would benefit residents and staff in more than 6,000 more care homes. Previously only care homes exclusively housing the over-65s were eligible for facility-wide testing of staff and residents.
“It will mean that right across adult social care, everyone will have the certainty and confidence of a high quality coronavirus test, whether symptomatic or not,” said the health secretary.
Since the launch of whole care home testing, the government says it has provided 1,071,103 test kits to 8,984 care homes.
“It will play an important part in ensuring we are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 in the sector, both for those who rely on care and support and the social care workforce,” Mr Pearson said.