Care homes’ costs have escalated at a rate of knots since the COVID-19 outbreak hit. To make sure Operators have the funds in place to be able to help in the fight against the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has given a pot of funding to Local Authorities (LA) to distribute to their local care homes.
Here are the key things you need to know:
The purpose of the fund is to support adult social care providers to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience to deliver infection control.
DHSC are super clear that this money is for all care homes – whether or not they have an LA contract.
how much, when and what for?
The total fund is £600m, split into two equal parts. The first half was given to LAs at the end of May and the second instalment is due in July.
It’s to be allocated as follows:
- 70% to be paid to care homes on a “per bed” basis
- Only care homes who have completed the Capacity Tracker qualify for the fund
- 75% of the allocation must be used for specified infection control measures (see below)
- 25% can be used on other infection control measures at the LA’s discretion. The only restrictions are:
- It must follow State Aid rules
- Must not be used for fee uplifts
- Must not be used for expenditure already incurred/allocated by the LA which do no support the primary purpose of the fund
- Use of the funds must be reported to the LA to prove its compliance with the purpose of the fund
The specified infection control measures are as follows:
- Payment of isolating staff
- Ensuring staff work across limited no. homes
- Limiting or cohorting staff to resident groups within care homes
- Active recruitment
- Limiting the use of public transport
- Providing accommodation to staff proactively choosing to stay separate from their families
We have heard that LAs across England are utilising the funds to support the digitalisation of care homes as an infection control measure.
use it or lose it.
The money must be spent before the end of Sept 2020. Any unallocated funds must be returned to the DHSC.
If the LA believes the funds are not being used for legitimate purposes or the capacity tracker has not been used, they can withhold or recall payments.
how coolcare can help.
Depending on your care homes’ circumstances, there are a lot of ways CoolCare’s care home management software can assist your infection control processes:
- Non-touch clocking-in systems to reduce surface contamination
- Increase in digital processes boosts infection control by reducing reliance on paper documentation
- Enablement of remote working by admin and HO staff reduces the need for/frequency of onsite visits
You know your home, processes and areas of risk better than anyone. If you want to explore ideas with us, just drop our team an email or give us a buzz on 01133853853.
Want Read More?
Find out everything you need to know about the Infection Control Fund.