Care Newsflash February 2021
Staff Capacity Fund
In January, an additional £120m fund was announced for local authorities to support staffing levels. The funding can:
- Boost support for additional staff where shortages arise.
- Support administrative tasks to free up skilled staff to focus on the care provision.
- Fund additional hours with overtime payments or provide for childcare costs.
Grant system to support additional testing
The £120m Staff Capacity Fund is in addition to £149m announced to support increased testing in care homes. The grant is ringfenced for lateral flow device testing and to make visits from friends and family possible, and the funding can be used to set up safe test areas and provide staff training. It is designed to contribute towards the staff costs of administration and receiving tests. Local authorities will be required to pass on 80% of the funding to care homes on a per beds basis, with 20% used at the local authorities discretion to support the care sector in delivering additional lateral flow device testing. The funding should have been distributed at the time of writing but it expires on 31 March 2021.
Infection Control Fund
The second IPC grant is for expenditure incurred between October 2020 and March 2021. Often overlooked expenditure includes replacement flooring to enhance anti-bacterial protection and additional safety equipment and processes. This funding also expires on 31 March 2021 and unspent amounts must be paid back.
The guidelines for each fund should be followed and expenditure evidenced for any Local Authority assurance checks.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) and Bounce Back Loans
If you haven’t already taken out a CBIL or Bounce back loan, the scheme has been extended until 31 March 2021. There is no restriction on what you use the funding for, although you must be able to say that you have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. You could consider using amounts to refinance or even refurbish. Contact your bank if this is something that may be of interest.
The CQC has launched two consultations that we are encouraging all providers to consider taking part in. The first is on its future strategy, whilst the second is on proposed changes to introduce more flexible regulation. The closing date for comments on the two consultations are 4 March 2021 and 23 March 2021 respectively.
To read the consultation documents and have your say visit www.cqc.org.uk/get-involved/consultations.