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Coronavirus - support for adult social care and support providers | Sandwell Council

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Coronavirus - support for adult social care and support providers

In addition to the support the Government is providing to businesses during COVID-19 and the support being offered to businesses by the council, the Adult Social Care directorate also provided support aimed specifically towards providers of adult social care and support. 

Businesses not operating in the adult social care and support sector were signposted to the following Council's webpage coronavirus support for businesses


But the following details the support offered for providers of adult social care and support.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): emergency funding for local government

On 19 March 2020, the Government announced additional funding for local government to help councils respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) pressures across all the services they deliver not just Adult Social Care and further further funding was then announced on 18 April 2020.

In addition to the support provided by the Government through grant funding for small businesses, there was an expectation that part of the emergency funding provided to local authorities would be to support the providers of adult social care and support.

In response to this, Sandwell Council made an offer to its contracted providers as set out in the service specific letters below.  

Following a number of extensions due to the longer than expected COVID19 period this offer was finally withdrawn on the 31 March 2021. 

In general, Sandwell Council's offer consisted of three elements, these were:
 

1. The Core Offer 

The Core Offer was made to all contracted providers this includes:

  • Ensuring prompt payment 
  • Relaxing all non essential monitoring and reporting, including key performance indicators 
  • Relaxing rules within contracts around sub-contracting to facilitate mutual aid where this is available 
  • Supporting with transport where staff use public transport, but restricted services make it difficult to travel to and from work 
  • Providing emergency short term supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to all providers with service users in Sandwell where they are unable to source their own supply 
  • Putting in place measures to help providers to source additional carer capacity to cover staff absence in emergencies.
     

2. The Service Specific Element

The Service Specific Element was detailed in the letters by service type below.

These contain parts of Sandwell Council's offer that were, for example, relevant to residential care providers and not day care providers.

3. The Bespoke Element   

The Bespoke Element recognised that we were operating in unprecedented times and this may have left some providers at risk of becoming financially unviable.

Where a provider identified to us that the climate they are currently operating in presents a significant risk of becoming financially unviable, the Council may have provided additional funding or other support to enable providers to break even and provide continuity of care.

In order to evaluate requests for support, providers were expected to co-operate with an open book assessment of their finances and subject to the outcome of any assessment the Council may have offered support.

The Council did not however contribute to any profit or surpluses that may have been planned or expected by providers.

 

Provider Support Offer Updates  

Following the introduction of the Provider Support Offer in May 2020 Sandwell Council committed to regularly reviewing the offer to ensure that remained relevant and adapted to the changing needs of the COVID19 crises.


The Councils Provider Offer was reviewed in July 2020

Key changes were :

  • Offer extended through to October 2020
  • Provision for Temporary Staffing Added
  • Support for Transportation of Staff Removed  


The Provider Offer was reviewed again in October 2020

Key changes were

  • Offer extended through to the 31st March 2021
  • Support for PPE Removed from 1st October as PPE is now provided and funded by Department of Health and Social Care


The Provider Offer was reviewed again in March 2021

Key changes were that the Provide Offer would be withdrawn as from 31st July 2021

 

The Provider Offer has now been withdrawn

 

Support issued to Sandwell commissioned/contracted providers

  Domiciliary care Residential care Other provision Total spent
PPE Payments  £61,502.90 £236,757.88 £18,266.26 £316,526.14
Additional Notice and Holding Payments  £81,760.00  £198,240.00 £0.00 £280,000.00
Emergency Staffing Provision  £24,000.,00 £24,000.00 £0.00 £48,000.00
Total  £167,262.90 £458,997.88 £18,266.26 £644,526.14
 

Infection Control Fund

In addition to the funding made available to local authorities to respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pressures the Government initially announced that £600 million is to be made available to councils to support providers with infection control measures.

Information about this can be found here.


Primarily this money was to support care homes but the council did have some discretion in allocating this money used this to ensure that a wider range of providers were supported with funding around infection control, including homecare / domiciliary care, extra care and supported living providers.

Subsequently the Government has provided additional money to the Sector which has been distributed by the Council.

This is detailed in the tables below

 

Infection Control Funding

 

Allocation

Distributed % Distributed 

Round 1

 £2,875,906

£2,875,906 100%

Round 2

£3,144,415 £3,144,415 100%

 

ICF Grant Round 1

Under the grant condition, local authorities must allocate 75% 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.

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

 

ICF Grant Round 2

Under the grant conditions, local authorities must allocate 46% of the funding to care homes, 34% to specified non-residential services and are free to allocate the remaining 25% to support Covid-19 infection control measures. 

 

ICF Round 3 and Round 3 Extension

 

Allocation

Distributed % Distributed 

Infection Prevention & Control Grant (April 2021 - June 2021)

 £1,073,389

£1,044,700 97%

Rapid Testing Fund (April 2021 to June 2021) 

£798,915

£742,270 93%

Infection Prevention & Control Grant (July 2021 to September 2021)  

£766,693 £749,265 98%

Rapid Testing Fund (July 2021 to September 2021)  

£603,723 £585,504

97%

 

Workforce Capacity Funding and Rapid Testing

In addition to the above the Government also issued Workforce Capacity Funding which again was distributed to providers via local authorities and prior to being issued through the Infection Control Fund the Government also provided separate Rapid Testing Funding.

The tables below show the funding distributed for both in Sandwell 

 

Allocation

Distributed % Distributed 

Workforce Capacity Funding
January 2021 - March 2021

 £923,964

£923,964 100%

Rapid Testing Funding
December 2020 - March 2021

£681,506

£681,506 100%

 

COVID 19 Resilience Hotline 

In addition to the financial support identified above, Sandwell Council also established a COVID-19 Resilience Team to support providers with information, advice and guidance on a range of topics.  It provided a central point of communication between providers and The Council

The COVID 19 Resilience Team has now been stood down but advice around Infection Control can still be accessed via our Public Health team on PHCovid19_enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk