Background: Providers are seeing an immediate impact on their cashflow, with an significant increase in costs for items PPE, Agency staff, food and taxis. The most efficient way to inject funding in the sector is to provide an additional payment to help cover these costs and to ensure they have sufficient capacity to continue to deliver key services
Social care providers are a key part of the emergency response to the COVID19 pandemic The social care provider market has been significantly affected by rising costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, this could impact on their ability to continue delivering the services commissioned by Kent County Council and on the ability to support the NHS and social care to discharge their statutory responsibilities.
Recent guidance has been published jointly from the Local Government Association (LGA) and Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) on providing temporary funding to assist social care providers during the period of COVID19.
In line with the guidance Kent needs to support the security of the social care provider market in Kent during the COVID19 crisis and enable providers to maintain delivery of essential services to the vulnerable people of Kent it is proposed to award additional payments to Adult Social Care Providers in Kent, the equivalent of 2 weeks provision of care, in recognition of the additional costs that providers are incurring as a result of and in response to the COVID19 pandemic.
Advance payments equivalent to one week’s provision of care (approx. £6.5m) were previously made to providers on the basis that this would be recovered, however it is now proposed that this payment will not be recovered, and will form one of the 2 weeks’ payment identified above.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 24/04/2020
Decision due: Not before 28th May 2020 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Lead director: Richard Smith
Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing
Contact: Clare Maynard, Head of Commissioning Portfolio - Outcome 2 and 3 Tel: 03000 416449.
No Cabinet Committee consultation possible due to urgency process: The chair of the Scrutiny Committee, Group Spokespeople of the Scrutiny Committee and Chair and Group Spokespeople of the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee have all been briefed on this matter and their comments have been included in the Record of Decision.
Financial implications: The total value for these payments (including the £6.5m already paid to providers) is approximately £13m. Providers will be required to agree an open book accounting approach to evidence any additional costs. Any payments made in excess of actual costs incurred will need to be repaid by the provider. This expenditure is additional to the budget for adult social care agreed by full council in February 2020. The council expects this expenditure to be covered in full by government funding. This value represents a 15% increase over a 3 month period. It is felt that making one further one-off payment is less complex for providers than asking providers to increase their charges over this period.
Legal implications: The Council will have sufficient statutory powers to make the proposed payments under: the general power of competence under the Localism Act 2011; and the ancillary power to do what is reasonably necessary to implement the discharge of a statutory function under section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972. The local authority statutory functions for the provision of social care are predominately governed by the Care Act 2014. The Council has a duty under section 5 of the Act to promote the efficient and effective operation of a market in services for meeting care and support needs, including ensuring the sustainability of the market (in circumstances where it is operating effectively as well as in circumstances where it is not), such as in this Pandemic.
Equalities implications: The individual services and providers support vulnerable people and failure to address the potential cashflow issue in the care market would have a significant negative impact on the relevant protected characteristic groups.