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Covid-19: Adult Social Care

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 17 November 2020

What steps his Department is taking to support the adult social care sector during the covid-19 outbreak. (908885)

Our winter plan sets out what we are doing to support adult social care during the second wave of the pandemic, including supplying free PPE to meet social care’s covid needs across domiciliary care, day care services and personal assistance as well as in care homes, and includes a further £546 million of funding for the infection control fund, bringing the total we have provided to social care for infection control to £1.1 billion.

The new megalabs will open in 2021, one of which will be just down the road in Leamington Spa. This is very welcome news for the care sector in Stourbridge, which needs fast access to testing to carry out its amazing work, and let us not forget that these megalabs will bring thousands of jobs to the midlands. The UK is already No. 1 in Europe for testing capacity. With these new labs on stream, that capacity will double. Will my hon. Friend commit to prioritising the social care sector in this new capacity?

The answer to my hon. Friend’s question is yes. Adult social care has already been at the front of the queue for testing. Care homes in Stourbridge and across the country have had whole care home testing since May. We have now sent out more than 13 million test kits to care homes. Every week we are testing more than half a million staff and residents, with nearly 90% of results back within 72 hours. I will continue to make sure that social care is a priority, going beyond care homes to include domiciliary care and supported living as we increase testing capacity.