To be eligible for funding, local authorities needed to submit a social care provider support plan by 29 May, these should now be published on their websites.
Local authorities are expected to spend 75% of the grant on care homes on a per bed basis. Care homes are expected to update the Capacity Tracker in order to eligible for the funding.
Care Home funding is limited to specified infection control measures that all relate to additional staffing costs. These include:
The funding does not include either PPE or deep cleans.
The guidance states that remaining 25% of the grant may be used on other coronavirus infection control measures including domiciliary care and wider workforce measures. There are no further restrictions on how it can be spent.
A new £600m Infection Control Fund has been introduced to tackle the spread of coronavirus in care homes. The new fund will be ring-fenced for social care and administered through local authorities.
Funding will be allocated according to the number of care home bed spaces in each local authority area, with 75% of the money going directly to care homes. The remaining 25% will be used at the local authority’s discretion and can be used to support any measures that prevent coronavirus transmission in a care setting, including domiciliary care.
The fund is designed to support a range of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, including:
These measures are a positive step for our members who manage care homes, and will provide a useful template for how infection control measures could be implemented in other supported housing settings. We will continue to explore possible future funding options with government.
Housing associations are significant providers of care homes – 120 NHF members manage nearly 15,000 care home places.
Keeping residents and staff safe through this crisis is particularly challenging for care homes. The government’s recent announcement on support for infection control and the availability of NHS clinical support for care homes is welcome, but there still remain significant concerns around the availability of testing in practice, the need for increased funding and long term access to PPE.
To support our members with care homes, we have joined an NHS and Department Health and Social Care led group representing care home providers. It is specifically looking at coronavirus issues including testing, funding, enhancing health and more local and national support.
To feed into this group, or share any concerns about care homes that you would like us to raise with the government, please contact Sue Ramsden.