Care England will today highlight the disconnect in national and local delivery of government financial aid during the coronavirus crisis and call for funding to be issued directly to providers.
The call will be made by Care England CEO, Professor Martin Green OBE, as he gives oral evidence to the Health & Social Care Select Committee this morning.
Speaking ahead of the session, Martin said: “Financial aid from government is not only welcome, but in fact essential, however, allocating it via local authorities hasn’t been successful. It is essential that the latest £600m for infection control must not also face the same fate. The quantum is not enough for the sector and we must search urgently for ways to get funding direct to providers.”
The government has issued £3.2bn to local authorities to support the adult social care workforce and services but Care England said many local authorities had not even contacted their providers let alone reimburse COVID-19 costs.
The representative body issued several demands ahead of today’s evidence, including: the provision of a 10% uplift across the board to care providers; an end to unacceptable conditions being placed on social care providers; ensuring local government and CCGS receive required levels of funding to meet increased costs; and the government to audit its public announcement to ensure they are followed through.
Care England’s call came after ADASS conducted a survey of its members asking what support they were providing care providers.
The survey, which was completed by four out of five local authorities in England, found that 95% had used different types of advance payments to protect local providers, with mechanisms, including: immediate payments, guaranteed payments to providers unable to run services, block purchases of beds to support cashflow, and covering temporary provider cost pressures through a range of measures, including temporary fee uplifts of 5-10%.
James Bullion, ADASS President, said: “Ensuring that we have strong, stable and sustainable providers is an essential part of adult social care. That is why councils have been using a range of local approaches to ensure payments, and help providers meet significant temporary cost pressures.
“The financial pressures on councils and social care providers are very real and underline why the government must urgently set out its plans to put adult social care on a sustainable footing.”