£7m aid plan for Barnsley's care homes approved

Members of Barnsley Council's cabinet have approved a £7m recovery plan to aid the town's care homes, which have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 1:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th June 2020, 1:22 pm

The funding will directly support care providers in Barnsley, according to a report to cabinet members, which was approved during a meeting this week.

The report to cabinet members, which breaks down the funding, states that Barnsley care homes support over 1800 residents across 72 homes, which are mostly occupied by elderly residents who are vulnerable to covid 19.

All care providers will receive a share of £3.1m to cover additional costs, such as temporary staff, increased statutory sick pay, and PPE, while a further £2.3M has been earmarked to fund measures to control the transmission of the virus between homes.

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A support plan has been established to ensure care homes are given the support, advice, guidance and tools they need to safely support residents through this outbreak and to ensure staff working in care homes are supported.

As part of this plan, one-off payments were made to social care providers in March, ranging from £5,000 to £50,000.

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At the meeting, Sir Stephen Houghton, leader of the council paid tribute to front-line staff, and said that the fight against coronavirus has been a "real community effort".

He said: "I just want to pay tribute to our social care staff who have been involved in supporting the care homes, and the care homes themselves in particular, because for the last month of this, the front line on covid has been very much in care homes, and staff have gone well over and above to keep residents safe."

In Barnsley, 93 per cent of care homes are currently free of coronavirus, with 24 individuals testing positive across five homes.

Sir Steve added: "Now lockdown has been eased, it's even more important that we stay on our guard. The disease has not gone away, it's not been eased because the disease has disappeared, we need to get the economy going again.

"It really has been a team effort from everybody involved. Real community effort in every sense of the word, thank you to each and every one. "

Councillor Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for communities, said: “Understandably, care home managers and their support staff have been under a massive amount of pressure, and we have been providing them with a range of support including emotional support either over the phone, via technology or by face to face contact, where safe to do so. My thanks go to them and all the care home staff for continuing to provide great care and support to Barnsley residents.”

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