Calls for the Government to Reinstate the Infection Control Fund

Care Provider Alliance (“CPA”) and UNISON have written to Health Secretary Sajid Javid urging the Government to reinstate the Infection Control Fund (“ICF”). The £1.75 billion fund, which allowed health and social care providers to continue to pay staff full wages while they were off due to COVID-19 isolation, was terminated on 1 April 2022.

It was also noted in the letter that COVID-19 was more prevalent in care homes and other workplaces where staff did not receive proper sick pay. The removal of this funding has prevented the discharge of NHS patients back into the community, thus limiting access to medical services and putting more pressure on an already oversubscribed sector.

Further, the removal of this financial support will likely mean that more staff will be inclined to work despite the risks it may serve to patients and service users. However, there is still mandatory testing for staff in care settings and requirements to be off work should tests come back positive. This means that the Government has not only removed financial assistance, but continues to restrict staff ability to work.

What is clear is that there needs to be a solution to this issue and the Government needs to start listening to health and social care providers about what they need so that staff are treated fairly and that service users can be cared for safely.

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