Care providers have welcomed the government’s removal of VAT from PPE purchases for the next three months as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) said it was “refreshing” to see the government was listening to care providers who were struggling financially because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
ICG chair, Mike Padgham, said: “We are pleased that the Chancellor has listened and taken this step to save some money for social care providers.
“It is a good start and we hope that it is followed by further measures, like efforts to ensure that more funding is given to local authorities so that they can help social care providers and that this help gets to the front line.
“We would also like the government to help providers to support social care workers who are off sick because they have diagnosed Covid-19 or have symptoms.
“In the longer term, we want a complete review of social care.”
The VAT removal follows warnings that many care home operators are facing financial collapse due to rising costs, including inflated PPE prices, and higher staffing expenses as workers self-isolate, as well as government emergency funding failing to reach the frontline.
Mike added: “Care providers have been suffering financial hardship for many years due to chronic under-funding. Now they are facing huge increases in costs, for instance, the costs of bringing in agency staff to cover for staff who are unwell, sick pay costs and the increasing cost of protective equipment. Due to stopping admissions, some care homes are also seeing a dramatic reduction in income and homecare providers are suffering a reduction in contracts.
“The government has repeatedly promised to do whatever was needed to get the country through the pandemic. Social care now needs that action, otherwise, providers will not be able to play their part in beating Covid-19 and many could cease to operate at all.”