A MULTI-MILLION pound recovery plan to support care homes hit by the effects of coronavirus across the borough is set to be approved by Barnsley Council bosses.

A total of £7m has been committed as direct support to care providers across the borough, according to a cabinet report which will be discussed on Wednesday.

The majority of the funding has gone to supporting the care sector and ensuring financial resilience with £3.1m being pledged, while a further £2.3m has been pledged to help reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes.

The report states that Barnsley care homes support over 1,800 residents across 66 homes, with many homes occupied by elderly residents who are classed as vulnerable to Covid-19.

As part of the plan, a one-off payment was swiftly made to all social care providers to assist with additional costs during the Covid-19 outbreak, including costs associated with the purchasing of additional PPE and staff absence.

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The council has also agreed to work with care homes to monitor their long-term financial sustainability.

Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson for communities, said: “I’m very proud of how we’ve pulled together as a community during this time - the care home support plan is reflective of a system-wide approach to supporting homes.

“Understandably, care home managers and their support staff have been under a massive amount of pressure, and we have been providing them with a range of support including emotional support either over the phone, via technology, or by face-to-face contact, where safe to do so.

“My thanks go to them and all the care home staff for continuing to provide great care and support to Barnsley residents.”

Recent figures show that nearly ten per cent of all residents in care homes that have been tested had tested positive for the coronavirus.

However, over 90 per cent of care homes across the borough are Covid-free after 34 homes were tested last week, and a further nine were due to be tested this week.

Julia Burrows, director of public health, said: “This is good news and reflects the excellent work by our local care homes with the crucial support of adult social care and health partners.

“Given the vulnerability of care home residents, we can never be complacent and will continue to prioritise testing and support to this sector.”

Gemma Gittens, the registered manager at Orchard Views Residential Home on Gawber Road, told the Chronicle the council has been working hard ensure everything is up to speed.

She said: “The council have been really good with us so far.

“They’ve been keeping us up to date which is good, and they’ve been providing us with PPE when we’ve not been able to get it ourselves.

“We’ve managed to stay Covid-free throughout the entire pandemic so the morale around the home is pretty good - we’re doing everything that we can to help support the residents in any way possible.”