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18th March 2021

Solace statement on the refreshed Contain Framework

The Department for Health & Social Care has today published its refreshed Contain Framework for local authorities.

Paul Najsarek, Solace spokesperson for Health & Social Care, said: “Councils have played a crucial part throughout the pandemic response, and they will be vital to the recovery that follows.

“The updated Contain Framework provides a strong platform to further build on the great work between local, regional and national partners over the last year but there is still much for us all to do.

“Working together, partners at all levels must embed tackling inequality in everything we do.

“Developing a framework is one thing; implementing it successfully is another. In particular it requires resources.

“A further £341m for infection control measures and testing in care homes is certainly welcome. But Covid-19 is not confined to care homes so councils need a sustainable financial settlement if they are to be as effective at containing the coronavirus as we all want and need them to be, while simultaneously reinvigorating our communities and economies.

“And if we are to really get on top of Covid-19 the Government must also give further attention to matters beyond the Contain Framework, such as ensuring the self-isolation payment scheme is fit for purpose.

“Getting clarity on each of our roles, responsibilities and the decision-making processes is key to making all of this work. And one thing is certain: at the heart of this monumental effort – as they have been throughout the course of the pandemic – will be local authority chief executives, working closely with their directors of public health and elected members as leaders in the community.

“As we move in to the next phase, it is important that all stakeholders recognise councils will need to prioritise capacity across a range of issues depending on local circumstances. For example, where council facilities are used as vaccination or testing centres they may not be able to reopen in their usual form according to the timings in the roadmap.”