Government announcement of £149 million to support increased care home testing - Alzheimer's Society comment

The Government has today (23 December) announced a new £149 million grant fund to support care homes.

Care home staff are to receive two rapid-result tests a week, in addition to regular testing to help keep coronavirus at bay. Vaccinations have also begun for residents in care homes.

Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'We welcome this essential lifeline from the Government through this grant to increase testing for care home staff. Regular testing for everyone in and around a care home, along with PPE and other preventative measures, is vital to limiting the spread of Covid-19 no matter what tier you’re in and this will allow more families to be finally reunited with their loved ones after such a tragic year.

Around 70% of care home residents live with dementia – they rely on physical contact from their families, not just for comfort but also for essential care-giving so it is wonderful to hear that care home residents are now receiving the vaccine.

'We are as concerned as everyone else at the increasing number of cases in recent days. The Government must do all it can to keep care home residents not just safe from the virus, but crucially also linked to the outside world. This means vaccinating care home residents and those around them as quickly as possible.'