Financial aid still not reaching front line
Campaigners are calling for financial aid to be given directly to care providers to prevent many from going under as they battle coronavirus.
The Independent Care Group said today that the £3.2bn given to local authorities to support care providers again Covid-19 simply wasn’t getting to the front line fast enough.
It has written to the Government calling for:
- The Care Quality Commission (CQC) to waive or refund care providers’ 2020-21 registration fees
- For future Government support to be delivered by the CQC
- The Government to indemnify care providers against being sued over Covid-19 deaths.
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.”
He said a good place to start would be the waiving or reimbursement of CQC registration fees 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,” Mr Padgham added.
“Given that the £3.2bn promised to care providers still isn’t reaching all providers – it is patchy to say the least – we need to ensure any further financial support gets directly to care providers and we suggest that it is channelled through the CQC rather than local authorities, to avoid it becoming mired in bureaucracy.”
Providers are very concerned that they may not be covered by insurance if they are sued following the death of someone they provide care for. NHS care providers have been indemnified by the Government against such against such action.
Mr Padgham added: “This has not been extended to social care providers and we are finding that our current insurance does not cover us. This is having an impact upon providers who may consider not taking on new clients for fear of repercussions. This would, in turn, impact upon the fight against coronavirus.
“We have therefore written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, calling on him to extend indemnity against legal action to social care providers.”
- Social care currently looks after 400,000 people in care and nursing homes – that is three times the number in NHS hospital beds. Social care looks after a further 640,000 people in their own homes.