Support for Care Homes

COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge for social care. There is an extraordinary amount of work underway up and down the country, with local authorities and care providers at the forefront of this vital response, working in partnership with the NHS.

On the 14th May 2020, Local Authority Leaders received a letter from Helen Whately MP, Minister of State for Care, in which she asked that all local authorities review or put in place a care home support plan, drawing on local resilience and business continuity plans.

From the outbreak of the Pandemic, extensive work had already been taking place across the health and social care sector to ensure our response to the crisis was robust and effective and as such support has been reviewed and plans updated.

These plans were due to be submitted on 29th May 2020; Halton’s plan was submitted. We were also required to publish the plan on our website once it had been reviewed at a regional level, as with other Local Authority area plans. The regional review process has taken place and as such we are now in a position to publish our plan.

Please note that as part of our plan/response, a number of supplementary documents were included; these can be viewed below:-

We were also asked to publish information on the financial support we are offering to providers (Residential and Domiciliary Care) as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response, from the funding that has been provided to date (as at 29th May 2020), including agreed uplifts. Information included below:-

The financial information outlining the support we have offered to providers (Residential and Domiciliary Care) as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response has been updated as at 29th June 2020; see below:

Infection Control Fund

On 13th May 2020, the Government announced that it would make available a £600m Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. The purpose of this fund is to support the implementation of infection control measures advised in the Care Home Support Package, particularly the restriction of movement of workers between different care settings and full payment for staff who are required to self-isolate.

The grant was allocated to Local Authorities based on the number of Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered beds there are within the locality, as at May 2020.

Halton’s total allocation was £1,008,396.

In line with Government guidance, 75% of the overall grant allocation (£756,297) has been paid from the Local Authority directly to care homes in the Borough, based on the number of CQC registered beds they have, whilst the Local Authority had the discretion to determine how the remaining 25% of the overall grant (£252,099) was to be allocated. Halton Borough Council determined that this proportion of the grant was to be used to support wider workforce measures, particularly within the Domiciliary Care and Supporting Living sector and as such funding has been distributed to appropriate providers.

Care homes have indicated to us that they are using funds to :-

  • Introduce measures to isolate residents within their own care homes
  • Undertake actions to restrict staff movement within care homes e.g. paying for additional staff
  • Paying staff full wages while isolating following a positive test
  • Increased infection control training
  • Additional cleaning (staff costs)
  • Costs of alternative transport to minimise social contact
  • Increased Covid testing
  • Cover recruitment and induction costs
  • On-site accommodation for staff
  • Additional equipment; such as uniforms, laptops/tablets.