Campaigners have called for financial aid to be given directly to care providers to prevent many going out of business during the coronavirus outbreak.
The call by the Independent Care Group (ICG) follows a National Care Association (NCA) survey earlier this month revealing that three out of four care providers feared going out of business.
ICG chair, Mike Padgham said: “Whilst deaths are falling, we must not lose sight of the fact that care providers are continuing to struggle financially and there is a very real danger that some will fail.
“Providers are seeing falling incomes, through a lack of new clients, and rapidly rising costs from extra staffing and PPE and they need urgent help on the front line now.”
Mike said the waiving or reimbursement of CQC registration fees would be a good place to start for the current year.
“This is a significant expense for providers and refunding that money would be a help to them. We have written to the CQC and asked for that to happen,” he added.
He also called for future funding support to be delivered directly through the CQC and said the government should indemnify care providers against COVID-19 deaths.
CQC Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Kate Terroni, told CHP: “We are committed to supporting health and social care providers and the systems response to COVID-19.
“Where providers are temporarily changing their registration status as part of an emergency response to COVID-19 they will not see an increased fee. If providers receive an invoice with an incorrect fee in these circumstances, we will ensure they receive the necessary credit or refund.
“We recognise that providers may find themselves in additional financial difficulty during this period, we will be asking them to contact us if this is the case and will work constructively with them to find an appropriate solution.
“This is a challenging and uncertain period for providers across health and social care and we are doing all we can, including developing new ways to monitor ongoing challenges across the sector, to support those delivering care at this time.”
If providers have any queries they can contact CQC directly at Invoice.Query@cqc.org.uk