A group representing some of the city’s most prominent care homes has slammed Sheffield City Council’s “underhand tactics” which they say continue to deny those caring for most vulnerable of funding allocated by Central Government.
Representatives of the Sheffield Care Association were last week hopeful that dialogue started with the Town Hall would be the beginning of a process that would address years of underfunding; cut needless red tape and allow them to receive their promised share of the £1.6bn funding package provided centrally to tackle the Covid 19 crisis.
Late on Friday afternoon last week, city officials rowed back on pledges not to make a Google Form requesting sensitive information mandatory, giving care homes just a matter of hours to complete a complex form to access government money.
Roy Young, managing director of Silver Healthcare that operates two homes in the city, said: “Sheffield City Council’s behavior in the midst of the biggest crisis the city’s independent care sector has ever faced continues to be underhand, disrespectful and insulting. They’ve delayed monies that have been promised to us by Central Government and they’re putting homes under yet more pressure by effectively means testing them with demands for reams of financially sensitive information – despite going on the record and denying they would do that.
“Other boroughs simply provide care homes with the Governement funding that’s allocated to them – why can’t Sheffield?”
Nicola Richards, chair of the Sheffield Care Association, said: “Care homes in Sheffield have been in a fragile state for a number of years and this was before the Covid 19 crisis began. Recent events have put us under intense pressure and the Association is extremely concerned that care homes will soon face closure.
“The people this will affect hardest are the most vulnerable in our communities – our residents. It will also have a huge impact on our dedicated and loyal staff who have worked miracles during the COVID-19 response.
“We need a cast iron commitment from the Council to guarantee funding levels, protect our services and an independent review of the cost of care in the city.”
Sheffield Care Association’s ‘End The Care Crisis in Sheffield’ petition has now amassed nearly 1,000 signatures with support continuing to grow on a daily basis.
Roy Young added: “We started this petition to highlight the long standing injustices the care sector in Sheffield has been suffering. Modern day care workers are fully trained and highly skilled individuals. No longer is it acceptable for them to receive minimum wage – it’s about time they got a payrise in line with the real living wage and, as a result, the recognition they deserve.”