Financial aid for care homes ‘still not reaching front line’​

Campaigners are calling for financial aid earmarked by central government for social care to be given directly to providers to prevent insolvency as they battle Covid-19.

The Independent Care Group (ICG) said the £3.2bn given to local authorities to support care providers is not getting to the front line fast enough.

ICG, which represents providers in North Yorkshire, has written to Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock calling for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to waive or refund care providers’ 2020-21 registration fees.

“This is a significant expense for providers and refunding that money would be a help to them. We have written to the CQC and asked for that to happen,” said ICG chairman Mike Padgham (pictured).

The representative body also wants to see future government support for the sector during the pandemic to be delivered by the CQC.

“Given that the £3.2bn promised to care providers still isn’t reaching all providers – it is patchy to say the least – we need to ensure any further financial support gets directly to care providers and we suggest that it is channelled through the CQC rather than local authorities, to avoid it becoming mired in bureaucracy,” said Padgham.

In addition, IGC wants the government to indemnify care providers against being sued over Covid-19 deaths.

Providers are said to be concerned that they may not be covered by insurance if they are sued following the death of someone they provide care for. NHS care providers have been indemnified by the government against such action.

“This has not been extended to social care providers and we are finding that our current insurance does not cover us,” said Padgham.

“This is having an impact upon providers who may consider not taking on new clients for fear of repercussions. This, in turn, impact upon the fight against coronavirus,” he added.