Providers Call For Better Cash Support During Pandemic

Need for government to help local authorities

Care providers are calling for better financial support from the Government to help them get through the hardships caused by the fight against coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Independent Care Group (ICG) says a 5% increase in fees offered by a local authority will not sufficiently help providers who are facing real hardship.

And it is calling on the Government to provide better financial help to local authorities so that they in turn can help providers who look after older and vulnerable people.

ICG chair, Mike Padgham said: “We are grateful to North Yorkshire County Council for making the offer of a 5% increase in the fees they pay us to provide care to help providers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, whilst it is welcome, going forward it is not going to be enough to help providers, many of whom are facing real financial difficulty.

“Care providers 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.

“Add to this the fact that, due to stopping admissions, some care homes may see a dramatic reduction in income and you can see why potentially this could be very serious indeed for providers. Homecare providers will also be financially challenged due to a reduction in contracts.

“We understand the financial hardships local authorities are under and believe it is up to the Government to provide those authorities with more support so that they in turn can help providers.

“They promised to do whatever was needed to get the country through the pandemic, well this is really necessary if social care is to play its crucial role in caring for people with the virus and protecting those most vulnerable to it.”

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.