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COVID-19 package of support to adults social care providers

Updated: 27 August 2020

The Council estimates that the cost of providing the package of support detailed below will be in the region of £3.3 million. Further to this there has been £1.7 million committed to support the provision of individual care packages that have increased in response to factors related to COVID-19. This total package of support is in addition to the £6.1 million investment already included within the 2020-21 budget to support the social care market to be financially sustainable in the form of inflationary uplifts to contract, paying a fair cost of care for care at home and extra care contracts and amending terms and conditions for key contracts.

On 13 May the Government announced that it would make available a £600 million Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care and this was distributed to local authorities on 22 May. The purpose of this fund is to support the implementation of infection control measures advised in the Care Home Support Package, particularly the restriction of movement of workers between different care settings and full payment for staff who are required to self-isolate.

The Council's share of the £600 million is £4.005 million, which the Council has received in two equal tranches of £2.002 million. In accordance with the conditions of the funding, the Council is passporting 75 per cent of the funding to care homes within its borough, based on an allocation per CQC registered bed - to be used to implement infection control measures. The Council is using the remaining 25 per cent to offer a grant to care at home, supported living and extra care providers that it commissions care to use for infection control measures, and to fund the cost of personal protective equipment which is referenced to above.

There is a summary of how the first portion of funding has been used to support adult social care providers to implement infection control measures.

Support to providers that Cheshire West and Chester Council has contracts with

Domiciliary care

he Council has agreed to change current arrangements for making payments to Adult Social Care providers by offering payments in advance for care delivered during the period 25 April to 11 September. This is a change to our usual method of payment in arrears and facilitates providers to better manage cash flow.

We recognise that providers are incurring additional costs as a result of following government guidance in responding to the COVID-19 emergency, specifically:

  • additional expenditure incurred in purchasing additional or specific PPE which is over and above your regular requirements, for use in line with government guidelines;
  • additional staffing to ensure business continuity due to COVID-19 related absence (due to staff being unwell or needing to self-isolate), recognising that absences due to COVID-19 have been higher than average absence rates for many providers, and the additional cost of this recruitment
  • The Council has therefore agreed to support providers financially by reimbursing reasonable additional expenditure incurred as a result of the above for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 August 2020.

The Council has given all Contracted care providers an Emergency PPE Order form which allows them to access PPE stock, when they are experiencing supply issues from their usual suppliers. The Council has a limited stock of PPE available to support Care Providers to allow them to continue to safely deliver care.

Care homes

The Council has agreed to change current arrangements for making payments to Adult Social Care providers by offering payments in advance for care delivered during the period 25 April to 11 September. This is a change to our usual method of payment in arrears and facilitates providers to better manage cash flow.

We recognise that providers are incurring additional costs as a result of following government guidance in responding to the Covid-19 emergency, specifically:

  • additional expenditure incurred in purchasing additional or specific PPE which is over and above your regular requirements, for use in line with government guidelines;
  • additional staffing to ensure business continuity due to COVID-19 related absence (due to staff being unwell or needing to self-isolate), recognising that absences due to COVID-19 have been higher than average absence rates for many providers, and the additional cost of this recruitment
  • The Council has therefore agreed to support providers financially by reimbursing reasonable additional expenditure incurred as a result of the above for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 August 2020.

This is provided for those care homes who have been impacted by a number of COVID-19 related deaths or prolonged periods of closure by the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Team.

To be eligible for the payment, homes must have been at 90 per cent or higher occupancy as at 2 March. Payment will be based on the number of days a bed has been vacant due to a COVID-19 related death, during the period when the home was closed by the IPC team. 75 per cent of the Council's daily standard contract rate will be applied to determine the value of payment.

The Council has given all Contracted care providers an Emergency PPE Order form which allows them to access PPE stock, when they are experiencing supply issues from their usual suppliers. The Council has a limited stock of PPE available to support Care Providers to allow them to continue to safely deliver care.

Other provision

The Council has agreed to change current arrangements for making payments to Adult Social Care providers by offering payments in advance for care delivered during the period 25 April to 11 September. This is a change to our usual method of payment in arrears and facilitates providers to better manage cash flow.

We recognise that providers are incurring additional costs as a result of following government guidance in responding to the Covid-19 emergency, specifically:

  • additional expenditure incurred in purchasing additional or specific PPE which is over and above your regular requirements, for use in line with government guidelines;
  • additional staffing to ensure business continuity due to COVID-19 related absence (due to staff being unwell or needing to self-isolate), recognising that absences due to COVID-19 have been higher than average absence rates for many providers, and the additional cost of this recruitment
  • The Council has therefore agreed to support providers financially by reimbursing reasonable additional expenditure incurred as a result of the above for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 August 2020.

The Council has given all Contracted care providers an Emergency PPE Order form which allows them to access PPE stock, when they are experiencing supply issues from their usual suppliers. The Council has a limited stock of PPE available to support Care Providers to allow them to continue to safely deliver care.

Total spent so far on supporting providers that Cheshire West and Chester contracts with in response to COVID-19

  • Timeliness of payments: This offer does not incur further costs for Cheshire West and Chester as it is a change in the payment mechanism, not an increase in costs.
  • Payment on plan: £0.261 million.
  • Extraordinary expenses: £0.471 million.
  • PPE supplies: Care providers have been provided with 329,351 items of PPE from the Council's and LRF stock to date (7 August 2020). The cost of providing the Council stock equates to £136,934. They have been supplied with items such as masks, aprons, goggles, gloves and visors.

Support to providers that Cheshire West and Chester Council does not have contracts with

Domiciliary care

When providers experience supply issues from their usual suppliers, the Council aims to support them with an emergency supply of PPE to meet their needs to allow them to operate safely until their normal supply chain is restored.

Residential care

When providers experience supply issues from their usual suppliers, the Council aims to support them with an emergency supply of PPE to meet their needs to allow them to operate safely until their normal supply chain is restored.

Other provision

When providers experience supply issues from their usual suppliers, the Council aims to support them with an emergency supply of PPE to meet their needs to allow them to operate safely until their normal supply chain is restored.

Use of Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund

  • Allocation of Infection Control Fund received as of 26 June: £2,002,553
  • Allocation of Infection Control Fund dispensed as of 26 June: £1,661,527
    The remaining £341,026 has been committed and will be spent as follows:
    • £38,200 is to be given to domiciliary care and other providers in the form of an infection control grant - funding will be dispensed once signed grant agreements have been received from providers (funding has already been provided to 50 providers, this value is in relation to 36 providers who are yet to return)
    • £302,826 is being utilised to fund the cost of PPE - both in terms of PPE that the Council has procured to issue to providers who need emergency supplies, and for to reimburse providers for PPE that they have bought since 13 May. £19,996 has already been paid out.

Under the grant condition, local authorities must allocate 75 per cent of the first month's funding straight to care homes within the local authority's geographical area on a per beds basis, including to social care providers with whom the local authority does not have existing contracts.

  • Please confirm whether your LA allocated 75 per cent of the first month's funding straight to care homes within the local authority's geographical area: Yes with the exception of £27,184 relating to four providers who have declined the grant.

The grant conditions specify that the funding must be used for infection control measures. At least 75 per cent of the grant funding must be used to support the measures listed within the grant conditions, while the remaining 25 per cent may be used on other COVID-19 infection control measures including payments to domiciliary care providers.

Please indicate the number of providers who have received funding

  • Care homes: 81
  • Domiciliary care: 83 domiciliary care and supported living providers will receive a grant from the 25 per cent allocation. 47 already received, 36 still return grant agreements.
  • Others: three extra care providers will receive a grant from the 25 per cent allocation.

Please indicate which measures have been used by providers as part of this funding as of 19 June, and the proportion of the funding dispensed to date that has been used for this

Measures to isolate residents within their own care homes

  • How many providers have used funding for this purpose so far? 59
  • What proportion of the LA's allocation has been spent on this measure? 31 per cent

Actions to restrict staff movement within care homes

  • How many providers have used funding for this purpose so far? 61
  • What proportion of the LA's allocation has been spent on this measure? 35 per cent

Paying staff full wages while isolating following a positive test

  • How many providers have used funding for this purpose so far? 60
  • What proportion of the LA's allocation has been spent on this measure? 17 per cent

Other: Steps to limit the use of public transport by members of staff

  • How many providers have used funding for this purpose so far? 42
  • What proportion of the LA's allocation has been spent on this measure? 5 per cent

Other: Providing accommodation for staff who proactively choose to stay separately from their families in order to limit social interaction outside work

  • How many providers have used funding for this purpose so far? 31
  • What proportion of the LA's allocation has been spent on this measure? 12 per cent

Proportion of the LA's allocation spent totals 100 per cent.

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