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 1 October 2020, the Government published the requirements of the second round of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund.

The purpose of this funding is to support adult social care providers, including those with whom the local authority does not have a contract, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission within and between care settings, in particular by helping to reduce the need for staff movements between sites. This funding must not be used to pay for activities that do not support the purpose of this fund.

For this round of the scheme 80% of the each of the two instalments is to be passed to

  • Care homes within the local authority’s geographical area on a ‘per beds’ basis
  • CQC-regulated community providers (domiciliary care, extra care and supported living) within the local authority’s geographical area on a ‘per user’ basis

This includes social care providers with whom the local authority does not have existing contracts.

Care homes must complete the NHS Capacity Tracker and eligible community-based services must complete the CQC daily survey twice per week as a minimum but ideally every day.

The grant to care homes and community providers is paid in two instalments. The first payment was in October and second in December 2020. All funding must be used for COVID-19 infection control measures and be spent by 31 March 2021. The Government require us to recover any funding not used for this purpose.

Recipients of the grant will need to provide a monthly update on how the grant is being spent and plans for any remaining grant. We will send out this form to all our known care settings on a regular basis for full completion every month.

The other 20% of the funding must be used to support care providers to take additional steps to tackle the risk of COVID-19 infections but can be allocated at the local authority’s discretion. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have already allocated £205,515 to Supported Living Providers and Day Centres who have Southend users and are based in this geographical area.

If you have any questions about the Infection Control Fund, please email: [email protected]

Other Infection Control Fund Financial Support Available

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council recognises the incredible contribution made by local Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations in responding to help people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Therefore, a total of £60,000 in funding is available (and there could be more) for grants of up to £3,000 for all constituted Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations based in Southend-on-Sea, supporting project costs that put in place Infection Control measures. 

This fund is now open to applications and it will be a rolling funding, with a weekly review of applications made by the Infection Control Steering Group at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. 

Guidance, conditions, and eligibility criteria are attached.

To apply for this grant, please send an expression of interest email to [email protected]. The email should include details on how the funding will put infection control measures in place, a full list of items and their costs. This information should include how it will be spent. Please also confirm of when you expect to spend the grant in full and that you agree to the terms and conditions.

If you have any questions about the Infection Control Fund, please email: [email protected].

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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