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

Updates from the council on Covid-19

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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 is also administering support aimed specifically towards providers of adult social care and support. 

If you are a business not operating in the adult social care and support sector then you may also find the Council's webpage relating to coronavirus support for businesses useful.

If you are a provider of adult social care and support please read on.

 

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 is an expectation that part of the emergency funding provided to local authorities will be to support the provision of adult social care and support.

In response to this, Sandwell Council has made an offer to to its contracted providers as set out in the service specific letters below. In general, Sandwell Council's offer consists of three elements, these are:

1. The Core Offer 

The Core Offer is being made to all contracted providers or for 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 is detailed in the letters by service type below. These contain parts of Sandwell Council's offer that are, for example, relevant to residential providers and not day care providers.

3. The Bespoke Element   

The Bespoke Element recognises that we are operating in  unprecedented times and this may leave some providers at risk of becoming financially unviable.

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

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

The Council will not however contribute to profit or surplus 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

 

Provider support claimed to date

As a result of the offers set out above the amount of money paid and/or claimed by providers and approved for payment to date is as follows. 

Please note these figures will be updated regularly  – last updated 15/12/2020 

 

Support to providers that Sandwell Council has contracts with

  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 announced that a further £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 is to support care homes but the council does have some discretion in allocating this money and is currently looking at ways it can support a wider range of providers with funding around infection control, including homecare / domiciliary care, extra care and supported living providers.

As part of the Governments expectations attached to this funding, all councils were requested to submit a planning return and care home support template by the 29 May 2020.

Planning return submitted by Sandwell Council on the 29 May 2020

COVID19 Care Home Support Implementation Status Template


In the Grant Determination Letter for the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund, the Government stipulated that local authorities must provide returns specifying how the grant has been spent and explaining how the expenditure meets the objectives of the fund.

The information below is taken from this return provided to Government, in line with the 26th June deadline, in respect of the first tranche of money received via the Infection Control Fund.

 

Local authority

Sandwell

% Distributed 

Round 1 Allocation

 £2,875,906

 

Round 1 Distribution 

£2,875,906

100%

Round 2 Allocation 

£3,144,415  

Round 2 Distribution 

£1,298,000*

41%*

*Round 2 Distribution Tranche 2
Not yet received from DHSC
Due to be distributed in January 2021 

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. 

 

COVID 19 Resilience Hotline 

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

The COVID 19 Resilience Team also includes expertise from our Public Health team including experts in infection control.

Contact the COVID 19 Resilience team via the COVID Portal

Alternatively you can contact them by email using COVID_Resilience@sandwell.gov.uk or by phone 0121 569 5214.

 

Adult Social Care Leaders Briefings

Care Home Provider Update 4 Nov 2020