Supporting The Second Front Line
Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has today published a paper about the severe financial implications for the sector.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“The pandemic presents social care providers with unbearable human costs, but also has severe financial implications. As an immediate priority we implore Central Government to instruct Local Authority Commissioners to use the funds allocated to them for the frontline”.
Prior to COVID-19, the adult social care sector was underfunded, whilst the current context has merely compounded such difficulties. Thus, such delays in funding making its way to the frontline will only make financial sustainability issues even more acute. Care England has outlined three key aims:
- £3.2 billion given to local authorities needs to get through to independent adult social care services (the second frontline)
- More funding for local government and CCGS to give providers the necessary funds to cover COVID-19 related costs
- Central Government direct business support.
Further information can be found at www.careengland.org.uk
Maintaining the financial sustainability of social care providers is of fundamental importance in maintaining the capacity of the health and care system at large. The Government need to support adult social care with the same financial commitment and urgency as shown with the steps it has taken around the NHS. If care services are rendered unable to operate as a result of the financial consequences of COVID-19, this will also have a very human impact upon existing residents, their families, staff, and the communities which they reside within.
A number of Local Authorities are yet to engage, some are not following their own representative associations guidance by not offering 5% for National Minimum Wage and 10% for COVID-19 costs and quite a number are adding various conditions and bureaucracy. In fact, Care England has received feedback from members that some local commissioners have stated that for care providers to receive emergency funding, they will in return be required to accept COVID-19 positive individuals to their services. Care England is of the view that this is, in fact, contravenes the rights of the provider to themselves make admissions based on their understanding of what they have the capacity to provide and to protect existing staff and residents.
It is important to note that many of those costs arising as a result of COVID-19 are yet to have become fully apparent. Sufficient funding is therefore of fundamental importance in giving providers confidence in dealing with current issues, but also, the uncertainty of the coming weeks and months.
Martin Green continues:
“Ultimately, during this time of crisis, social care providers should be given the necessary resources to allow them to focus solely upon providing care and support to some of societies’ most vulnerable, as opposed to having to engage in a piecemeal manner with local authorities and struggle for every part of their viability”.