Care services face more than £6bn in extra COVID-19 costs

Adult social care services may face more than £6.6bn in extra costs due to the coronavirus crisis by the end of September, according to new research.

The Local Government Association (LGA) and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), working with the Care Providers Alliance, commissioned LaingBuisson to produce the analysis to help give the Department of Health and Social Care a detailed estimate of the potential future costs facing this vital sector.

The joint analysis for the months April to September 2020, includes:

  • Providers (care homes, home care agencies and supported living providers) face potential increased staffing costs of £1bn, due mainly to having to maintain safe staffing levels while staff are ill or self-isolating
  • PPE costs will total £4bn if detailed guidance is followed on its use and if some current costs of PPE continue
  • There are a further nearly £700m of extra costs around enhanced cleaning of care homes and increased overheads

In total, these amount to £6.606bn in potential extra costs.

‘These figures highlight the sheer scale of the financial pressures facing councils and their social care provider partners as we look to get through the next few weeks and months of this coronavirus crisis,’ said the chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth.

‘People who use and work in social care are at the heart of our concerns about this. This analysis needs to spark a fundamental debate about the ability of the care market to respond to the pandemic and what more can be done to support it.

‘Providers are doing an incredible job in the most testing of circumstances,’ Cllr Hudspeth.

‘Councils are working closely with providers to support their financial resilience. Of the £3.2bn of emergency funding given to councils to deal with the immediate impact of the pandemic across all local services, 40 per cent has been allocated to adult social care.

‘We look forward to working with government on finding a solution to the immediate pressures facing the sector, including a significant further injection of funding, as well as agreeing a long-term, sustainable funding settlement for social care once this current crisis is over.’

The president of ADASS, James Bullion, added: ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that social care is essential to the fabric of our society. Social care colleagues and providers have played a pivotal role in ensuring that those of us with care and support needs continue to get the care we need to live our lives.

‘This analysis underlines the huge financial pressures being faced by social care providers. Without the right levels of funding and support, providers will no longer be sustainable; safety will be compromised; quality of care will suffer; and people with care and support needs left unsupported. The Government’s number one priority must be to protect social care.’

Photo Credit – Stux (Pixabay)

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