MORE than £1.5m will be spent in Barnsley’s care homes to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Earlier this year the government announced funding for councils across the country of £240m to help alleviate winter pressures on the NHS, and the funding is intended to be used to focus on expanding capacity, capability, resilience and reducing risk of the virus through to spring 2021.

Barnsley Council secured almost £4m for its so-called ‘Winter Plan’, which will see funding go towards infection control schemes.

Care homes will receive £1.549m, community care providers £420,000 and other care settings £492,000 - the purpose of the fund is to support care providers to reduce the rate of Covid-19 transmission over the winter period to March 31.

A report written by Julie Chapman, executive director of adults and communities, said: “Barnsley’s Winter Plan will ensure that we are prepared for the additional pressures that Barnsley will face this winter, in particular a growing resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

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“This plan sets out clear and robust steps that we are taking to ensure Barnsley Council is prepared for winter and that we protect people who need care and support and the workforce that supports them.”

Working alongside the council’s partners across hospital, primary and community healthcare, plans have been set up to cover a range of topics.

“The Winter Plan takes account of the various risks linked to the winter period, including the additional issues and challenges associated with Covid-19,” the report added.

“Through understand the risks and challenges for winter 2020/21, intelligence has been used to ensure Barnsley responds to winter and Covid-19 pressures using historic, current, predicted intelligence has scenario planning - this intelligence will support our response and use of funding.

“Specifically, the winter plan has addressed impacts on the external and internal care market through understanding our current capacity, points of anticipated crisis for each sector and mitigating actions.”