Coronavirus information and guidance

Support for care sector

The care sector in Southend is an important part of our local community. The sector provide support to thousands of vulnerable people and employs more than 6,000 people.

We are working to support providers both in the short term, through the challenge of COVID-19, and in the long term to provide high quality, financially sustainable, and responsive care for the residents of Southend.

There is effective joint work in place to ensure market resilience, not just for care homes but also more broadly across the sector. All of Southend’s care providers have been regularly supplied with PPE, infection control guidance and training in the correct use of PPE and managing deterioration in physical conditions, and new measures to evidence resilience across the whole care sector (care homes, domiciliary care, and supported living) are being built into provider’s contingency plans, including financial resilience measures.

Close working with our providers has continued throughout the outbreak and a new strategy for all sectors of the care market in Southend is planned post Covid-19.

Financial support for care providers

The care market in Southend has been fragile for some time and our level of concern about market resilience in the light of the impact of Covid-19 is high. Some of this concern relates to the short-term financial pressures and some relates to broader structural issues.

We have put in place a series of uplifts and resilience payments for providers. These are set out below. This is in addition to our annual uplift, which for 2020/21 was between 3 and 4.5% depending on sector and individual contract.

The  Council wrote to care home providers at the beginning of April and advised that for the next 3 months, they would be paid an additional 10% on top of the scheduled payment they receive from the Council for the individuals they are financially responsible for in their home.

We are continuing the work with care providers to address any issues identified through this challenging period. 

The table below sets out the financial support of the resilience payments, PPE mask distribution and proposed distribution of the Infection Control Grant.

Those who have contracts with us

Support to providers that SBC has contracts with in response to COVID-19
Support being provided Domiciliary care Residential care Other provision Total spent* so far
Amount  £224,730 £1.246m £73,000 £1.543m

Those who do not have contracts with us

Support to providers that SBC does not have contracts with in response to COVID-19
Support being provided Domiciliary care Residential care Other provision Total spent* so far
Amount £71,400 £41,250 £283,350 £396,000

*Funding or support that has already reached providers.

Infection Control Fund

On 13 May 2020, the Government announced that it would make available a £600 million Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. This funding is to support adult social care providers in England to reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes and to support workforce resilience. This fund is being distributed by Local Authorities to care homes and other care providers in the form of a Ring-fenced Grant.

The National Grant Conditions can be read on GOV.UK website.

Southend-on-Sea’s allocation of £2,734,682 was distributed as showing in the following tables.

Those who have contracts with us

Support to providers that SBC has contracts with in response to COVID-19
Support being provided Domiciliary care Residential care Other provision Total spent on supporting providers that SBC has contracts with in response to COVID-19
Amount £358,608 £2,635,228 £633,882 £3,627,718

Those who do not have contracts with us

Support to providers that SBC does not have contracts with in response to COVID-19
Support being provided Domiciliary care Residential care Other provision Total spent on supporting providers that SBC has contracts with in response to COVID-19
Amount £76,700 £77,028 £285,719 £439,447
  • 75% (£2,051,013) of the Infection Control Fund was allocated directly to 94 Care Homes in Southend-on-Sea in 2 payments. One in June and one was in August – based on the current number of CQC registered beds within each home and in accordance with the Grant Conditions
  • 25% (£683,669) of the fund was used to support Extra Care, Supported Living, and home Support providers with infection control measures in line with the Grant Determination requirements. The council determined the best way to use this part of the fund as follows:
    • 10% (£273,469) of the fund was paid to Domiciliary Care Agencies
    • 7% (£191,427) of the fund was paid to Supported Living Providers
    • £36,000 of the fund was split equally to Day Service Providers at (£2,000 each)
    • some of the funding was for the recruitment of an Infection Control Nurse
    • the remainder of the funding was used on other Covid 19 infection control measures

The Infection Control Fund has been spent on a wide range of areas to assist our providers to providers including:

  • additional uniforms for staff.
  • specialist fogging machines to decontaminate the home.
  • new kitchen equipment to improve infection control.
  • electronic devices such as tablets to reduce the use of paper.
  • alternative transport including bikes for staff in order that they can avoid the use of public transport.
  • devises to gauge the temperature of individuals.
  • certain adaptations to property e.g. taps on sinks which can be turned on/off with the elbow or foot rather than the hands.
  • provision of screens to allow face-to-face family visiting.
  • electric key fobs to replace touch pads.
  • need to change old or badly stained carpeting for easier-to-sanitise flooring.
  • need to change broken/damaged/worn out/badly stained cloth-covered chairs to replace with washable chairs.
  • additional furniture - dining room tables, chairs, to implement social distancing amongst residents and staff.

The government has announced that a second round of the Infection Control Fund will be extended to March 2021 as part of the Adult Social Care Winter Plan 2020-21. This extension of the Infection Control Fund will:

  • continue to support care home providers to ensure staff only work in one setting
  • support providers to pay staff their normal wages if they are isolating in line with government guidance
  • provide further support to other settings, beyond care homes, such as domiciliary care and other community settings

The details of the fund, including how much will be allocated to each local authority and the conditions placed on how it can be spent, were published on 1 October 2020. Web reference to the guidance on second round are available online.  Southend-on-Sea have been allocated a total of £2,321,361. Details on how this will be allocated will be shared once this is available.

Support to care homes resilience plan

Response from Alison Griffin, Chief Executive and care home resilience presentation
Southend-on-Sea care home resilience template

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