Financial support for adult social care providers

Wandsworth Council recognises that care providers are facing severe financial pressures at this time and is offering support through temporary funding. Funding is being made available for additional staffing costs, including sickness absence cover and PPE.

Other financial support available to adult social care providers

Annual uplift

Care home fees are being increased by 3% and will be paid to providers at the beginning of June, backdated from 1 April 2020.

PPE

Wandsworth Council is assisting providers by sourcing additional stocks of PPE, being made available free of charge to care providers, where an emergency supply is needed.

Additional capacity for hospital discharge

Working with providers, we have commissioned additional services to increase capacity and meet additional need and demand for hospital discharge. Additional care home beds have been purchased on a block basis to support provider cashflow and sustainability through guaranteed income. Where required, funding has been agreed for a guaranteed level of home care hours, to help boost service capacity.

Infection Control Fund

The Government has set up the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund worth £600 million. The purpose of this fund is to support adult social care providers, including those with whom the local authority does not have a contract, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience. Wandsworth Council has received £2,162,114.

This grant will be paid to care homes in 2 equal instalments;

  • Payment 1: Early June 2020 £768.50 per bed
  • Payment 2: August 2020 £768.50 per bed

The grant is allocated to support the following infection control measures in respect of care homes:

  • Ensuring that staff who are isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wages while doing so. This includes staff with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 awaiting a test, or any staff member for a period following a positive test.
  • Ensuring, so far as possible, that members of staff work in only one care home. This includes staff who work for one provider across several homes or staff that work on a part time basis for multiple employers and includes agency staff (the principle being that the fewer locations that members of staff work the better
  • Limiting or cohorting staff to individual groups of residents or floors/wings, including segregation of COVID-19 positive residents
  • To support active recruitment of additional staff if they are needed to enable staff to work in only one care home or to work only with an assigned group of residents or only in specified areas of a care home, including by using and paying for staff who have chosen to temporarily return to practice, including those returning through the NHS returners programme. These staff can provide vital additional support to homes and underpin effective infection control while permanent staff are isolating or recovering from COVID-19.
  • Steps to limit the use of public transport by members of staff. Where they do not have their own private vehicles this could include encouraging walking and cycling to and from work and supporting this with the provision of changing facilities and rooms and secure bike storage or use of local taxi firms.
  • Providing accommodation for staff who proactively choose to stay separately from their families in order to limit social interaction outside work. This may be provision on site or in partnership with local hotels.

This funding must be used for COVID-19 infection control measures and further payments may be withheld, if the Council believes the funding is not being used for infection control purposes, until satisfied that the previous payments have been used for the purposes provided, in line with the grant condition set out by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Providers must have completed the Capacity Tracker at least once before receiving their first payment and be committed to completing the Capacity Tracker on a consistent basis. No further allocation of funding will be made unless the provider is completing the Capacity Tracker consistently.

The Council may withhold the second payment, if it is not satisfied that provider has used it for the purposes for which it was provided. Payment can be withheld until satisfied that the provider has so used it. If the provider has not used it or any part of it for the infection control measures for which it was provided, the Council will take all reasonable steps to recover the money that has not been so used.

Providers must account for all payments from the Infection Control Fund and keep appropriate records. In so far as a provider does not use the entirety of allocation for infection control measures, any remaining funds must be returned to the Council. None of the funding provided is to be used for any purpose other than the specified infection control measures.