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Winter pressures: new social care chief nurse to focus on COVID-19 in care settings

RCN welcomes nurse leadership role as part of government’s social care winter plan
Image of a care home nurse wearing personal protective equipment whilst attending to a resident

RCN welcomes nurse leadership role as part of governments social care winter plan

A new chief nurse role has been created as part of the governments Adult Social Care Winter Plan, aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in care settings.

Recruitment for the chief nurse for adult social care role will begin in October, and the appointee will be responsible for providing clinical and professional leadership.

Desire to see chief nursing officer at top table of UK government decision-making

Other aspects of the Department of Health and Social Care plan include the monitoring of care home

RCN welcomes nurse leadership role as part of government’s social care winter plan


The Adult Social Care Winter Plan addresses care home infection montoring and PPE for staff
Picture: Shutterstock

A new chief nurse role has been created as part of the government’s Adult Social Care Winter Plan, aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in care settings.

Recruitment for the chief nurse for adult social care role will begin in October, and the appointee will be responsible for providing clinical and professional leadership.

Desire to see chief nursing officer at ‘top table’ of UK government decision-making

Other aspects of the Department of Health and Social Care plan include the monitoring of care home infections and free personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and those receiving care.

The plan is also supported by a £546 million top-up to the Infection Control Fund, taking total funding to £1.1 billion. This fund helps care providers pay staff full wages and restricts the movement of workers between care settings.

Responding to the announcement, RCN director for England Mike Adams said: ‘The appointment of a chief nurse for social care is a welcome step, alongside the NHS chief nursing officer. 


RCN director for England Mike Adams 

‘Those working in the social care sector are a vital part of the health and care system and it is essential they are properly represented.

‘Rapid delivery’ of COVID-19 test results for nursing staff

Mr Adams said the winter plan must include access to COVID-19 testing for staff and ‘rapid delivery of results’. He added that the RCN expects all employers to pay nursing and care staff full pay if they need to leave work to access testing, or if they need to isolate in the event of a positive test.

He stressed that those working in the care sector must also have access to PPE ‘where and when they need it’ and that staff should not be put in the situation again of working without this protection, putting them and those they care for at risk.

‘With winter just around the corner, and all the additional challenges that will bring, it is vital the social care sector is not again left facing the same challenges it saw at the start of the pandemic, with the terrible consequences that had,’ he said.

View our COVID-19 resources centre


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