Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Care Home fund welcomed by South Down MLA

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Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

SDLP Health Committee member Colin McGrath has welcomed a new £6.5m fund to support the care home sector during the COVID-19 crisis.

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The South Down MLA said that extra resource to protect vulnerable residents is welcome but that a policy of testing every individual should be introduced to identify limited infections before they become outbreaks.



Speaking to Newry Times, Colin McGrath MLA said, “Our care homes are on the frontline of this crisis, accounting for a substantial proportion of COVID-19 related deaths, so it’s critical that we enhance the support available to those settings.



“I welcome the Health Minister’s announcement of a new £6.5m fund to support the sector which will deliver grants of between £10,000-20,000 depending on the size of the home.

“This additional resource and a new pilot care model will make a difference in our fight against the virus.



“It is important, however, that we maximise testing in settings which we know are vulnerable to infection clusters and outbreaks.

“We should, therefore, be taking the opportunity to test all staff and residents in our care homes to identify new infections and prevent the spread before it becomes an outbreak.

“The key to managing this crisis and saving lives is to test, trace and isolate.



“The SDLP will continue to make the case for a mass testing and tracing programme that allows us to identify the scale of transmission and implement isolation protocols to protect vulnerable communities,” he added.


Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE


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