The Government is injecting a much needed £600 million into care homes, Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social care announced this week.
But a local care home worker fears officials have reacted too late in the battle to arm key health workers with vital life-saving equipment.
Matt Hancock wrote on Twitter:
The health secretary stated what the ‘£600 million pounds’ aimed to achieve also on Twitter:
Also earlier this week, on Monday (11th May 2020), the government launched its ‘new portal for care homes to arrange corona virus testing‘ on the GOV.UK website.
The aim of the new online testing portal is for both symptomatic and asymptomatic care home staff and residents to be able to test themselves without travelling anywhere. The kits are simply delivered to the care homes after submitting an application on the GOV.UK website.
Minister of State for Care Helen Whately said: “Care homes are on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 and we are determined that staff have everything they need to keep themselves and their residents safe.
“Testing is a crucial part of this. It helps prevent and control outbreaks and means steps can be taken to reduce the spread the virus and protect the most vulnerable.
“By prioritising thousands of tests for care home staff and residents, we can target our national testing capacity in the areas and care homes with the greatest need.”
A key worker, who works in a care home in Staffordshire, spoke on the condition of anonymity. They said: “Where was the help and support at the start? It felt like we were forgotten.
“The pay rise has been absolutely dreadful and I feel that carers have only just now been noticed for the job that we do.
“It is a very skilled job and you get paid so little for it.
Speaking about PPE within their care home, they told StaffsLive: “We have been very fortunate to have been given PPE throughout the pandemic.
“We were given masks, aprons and gloves, visors came a little later.
The key worker is aware that other care homes in Staffordshire are still struggling gaining access to PPE.
They said: “I have seen videos and heard people say that some care homes still don’t have PPE. Where I work is a private care home, so this could be why we have received them.
“If this is the case, I think it is awful because it should not matter whether it is private or council funded, they should have the PPE no matter what.”