Councils in Britain will be able to boost staffing levels in the social care sector as the government set aside an additional 120 million pounds (163 million dollars), to address absences due to the pandemic.
The Department of Health and Social Care said the funding would increase workforce capacity at care homes and providers affected by staffing shortages.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said the funding would boost staffing numbers in a controlled and safe way while ensuring people keep receiving a high level of care.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have taken steps to protect care homes, including increasing the testing available for staff and residents, providing free personal protective equipment, and investing billions of pounds of additional funding for infection control,” he said, according to PA news agency.
He added that more than 40 per cent of elderly care home residents had received their first dose of the vaccine to prevent Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Staff absences at care homes are reaching up to 50 per cent, according to a survey by the National Care Forum earlier this month.
The government’s support to care homes and care, home staff, follows criticism last year that too little had been done to prevent the virus from spreading in care homes.
Data released on Saturday showed a further 1,295 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19. There were 41,346 new cases in the past day.
Scientists say the reproductive number – known as the R rate – is 1.2 to 1.3 in Britain.