On 14 May, the government wrote to Local Authorities announcing that £600 million will be issued to councils to support care providers through a new Infection Control Fund. This is to be received in two instalments: 50% in late May and 50% in July. The government has required that 75% of this funding is for direct passporting to homes that have met the conditions outlined in the grant. There is more discretion over how the remaining 25% of the grant can be spent.
In a Q & A document issued by government on 8th June, further clarification was given as to the areas on which the 25% of the grant can spent.
“Local authorities may use 25% of the Grant on other Covid-19 infection control measures, including payments to domiciliary care providers or wider workforce measures. These wider measures could include, for example, additional financial support for the purchase of personal protective equipment by providers or by the local authority directly (although not for costs already incurred) or measures the local authority could put in place to boost the resilience and supply of the adult social care workforce in their area in order to support effective infection control.”
DHSC Infection Control Fund Question and Answer
The proposals will be developed in co-production with social care providers to ensure that they will meet the needs of the market.
Reason for the decision -
Under Decision 20/00061 Infection Control Fund, KCC accepted an £18.88m grant from government. 75% of this was passported to care homes in accordance with direction from government but with the requirement that KCC take on accountability and responsibility for management of the funding.
25% of this funding (£4.72) must now be deployed on other infection control measures as determined by KCC. As part of the previous key decision, it was agreed that:
the Corporate Director for Adult Social Care will develop proposals on how to allocate the remaining 25% (£4.72m) of the Infection Control Fund grant, in line with the terms of the grant, to support the whole care market (including homecare, supported living and those on direct payments) with wider resilience in relation to COVID-19 Infection Control.
This proposed decision is necessary to progress with delivering this allocation of the £4.72m.
In recognition of the challenging situation for providers, KCC is moving at pace to develop the detailed proposals with providers via co-production. These will be considered by the Cabinet Member and included when further formal decision notices are issued.
Proposed decision –
To approve the spending proposals relating to the 25% (£4.72m) of the Infection Control Fund grant allocated to the Council for infection control measures across the wider social care market.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: For Determination
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 25/06/2020
Decision due: Not before 24th Jul 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.
An all Member briefing on this topic was held on 27th May 2020.
Cabinet Committee members will be consulted remotely via current non-Executive Member engagement arrangements.
Financial implications: The funding to the Council is received as a grant paid under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003 ring-fenced exclusively for actions which support care homes in reducing the rate of COVID-19 transmission or to support wider workforce resilience including to domiciliary care providers; the total value is £18.88m. The guidance sets out that the remaining 25% (£4.72m), not passported to care homes under Decision 20/00061, is for the whole market to include other types of provision but with greater discretion at deciding how this proportion of funding can be spent. Responsibility and accountability for the administration and management of the grant sits with the Council. The administrative costs relating to the Infection Control Fund grant are not provided for from the grant and will need to be met by the council. The proposals developed will be designed to ensure that they meet the conditions of the grant in order to minimise this risk.
Legal implications: Legal support has been engaged to develop an Infection Control Grant Agreement, in line with the requirements from Central Government and KCC’s own contractual and commissioning policies. These agreements will need to be completed by the recipients before funding is released. The issue of whether state aid will apply to these payments has been considered during the development of the agreement and measures are in place to ensure appropriate compliance. The agreement makes clear the conditions of the funding and provides for detailed monitoring of the application of the funding and requires re-payment where not used for specified purposes or where compliance is not met.
Equalities implications: Equalities implications will be considered in the design of the proposals for spending this money and will be included in the proposed decision report.