Rochdale Borough Council leader Allen Brett's call for a vital care home funding package to be extended has today been backed by the government.
Councillor Brett had led the way in campaigning for the Infection Control Grant to be increased to help protect elderly and vulnerable residents from coronavirus (COVID-19) and flu.
The government has now confirmed that the £546 million national package will be extended for local councils until the end of March 2021.
The cash boost will help ensure care providers across the borough can maintain good staffing levels and pay workers full wages if they need to self-isolate, in line with the government guidance.
Councillor Brett's call for government action had been backed by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd and local council leaders.
They joined forces in early September to write to the health secretary calling for the grant to be extended until the end of the financial year.
'From day one, through our proactive work, we have supported the local care sector'
Councillor Brett said: "I am delighted for the local care sector that our campaign was successful and most of the vital grant has been extended. It has been a huge source of support for our care homes throughout the pandemic. That's why I urgently called for the payments to be extended and thankfully the government has listened to me and other northern leaders. There is still more to do, so I will be studying the detail and continuing to press the government if any further payments are needed.
"From day one, through our proactive work, we have supported the local care sector with supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), upfront payments, infection control advice, daily visits and much more.
"Our major operation to support the care sector and help protect staff and vulnerable residents goes on. We will be in touch with all our local care homes in the coming days to ensure this cash is passed on quickly and in full.
"Many thanks to all care homes and staff across the care sector for their amazing work throughout this pandemic. They can be assured, as council leader, I will be doing everything possible to ensure they continue to be supported, helped and protected over the coming weeks and months and that further cash from the government is forthcoming."