The Government has launched an Action Plan for Adult Social Care, setting out the four key areas that underpin its approach to supporting social care during the coronavirus pandemic.
These are controlling the spread of infection, supporting the workforce, supporting independence and people at the end of their lives, and responding to individual needs.
The plan also explains the steps being taken to address challenges including the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and workforce capacity.
The LGA said it was vital that the arrangements set out in the plan were urgently translated into reality on the ground.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Social care services are playing a vital role during the coronavirus crisis and the plaudits for the dedicated staff working on the frontline in care homes and people’s own homes are well-deserved.
“The challenges faced by these staff every day are huge, as they strive to keep vulnerable people safe and to care for those who are infected with the coronavirus in settings and circumstances that do not always lend themselves to managing isolation.
“Access to sufficient PPE and testing are vital to the safety of staff and the people they care for and we are pleased this plan provides assurance that these will be available.
“The current arrangements for accessing PPE by councils and care providers are not fit for purpose and are failing to provide what is needed on the frontline. It is vital that the arrangements set out in the plan are urgently translated into reality on the ground.”
In a Number 10 press conference, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock MP thanked care staff for their courage, and announced plans for a single brand for social care to symbolise the entire profession.
Wearing a ‘care’ badge in place of his usual ‘NHS’ one, he called for social care workers to be given the same benefits as those working in health, such as priority access at supermarkets. Mr Hancock spoke about valuing the profession, promising to strengthen the national recruitment campaign and to pay for induction training.