Government mustn’t sleepwalk into further care home catastrophe, says UNISON

Plan needed for care homes and infection control fund must be extended

Commenting on Labour’s letter to health secretary Matt Hancock calling for a clear strategy to ensure care homes are kept safe as coronavirus infections rise, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“A firm plan must be put in place to protect care homes.

“There are deep concerns the pledge of regular testing isn’t being delivered. It feels like the government is sleepwalking into another care home catastrophe.

“The infection control fund money clearly isn’t doing what was intended. UNISON pushed for it to be used so care workers get full pay while sick, but in many places this still isn’t happening.

“Huge numbers of care staff face a massive drop in pay if they do the right thing and stay away from work with Covid-19 symptoms.

“As the virus continues to spread, it’s vital ministers extend the fund and make it mandatory that employers use it to pay care workers.

“Reforming the sector to create a national care system, which treats staff far better, would make all the difference to controlling the pandemic and saving lives.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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