COVID-19 money still not reaching the ‘frontline of care’

Sector leaders have warned that the extra cash provided by ministers to meet additional costs during the COVID-19 pandemic is still ‘not reliably and consistently reaching the frontline of care’.

In an open letter to the chair of the government’s new social care taskforce, David Peason, the executive director of the National Care Forum, Vic Rayner warned of the ‘enormous costs’ being experienced by social care providers as a result of the pandemic.

‘We are all citizens immersed in this crisis, and so are fully aware that local authorities face significant additional financial pressures including lost revenue and additional COVID responsibilities around shielding and homelessness to name a few, many of which emerged after the initial central government allocation,’ wrote Ms Rayner.

‘However, the government explicitly identified social care as a key priority for this funding.

‘In response to this, the LGA and ADASS recommended that local authorities pass this money on in the form of a 5% annual uplift and a 10% COVID-19 specific uplift.’

But the letter notes that many of the National Care Forum’s members have had no offers of any type of uplift – either annual or COVID related.

‘Even where a rapid offer was made, it was often limited to a three-month period, ending on June 30,’ the letter adds.

‘With less than ten days to go, and the costs of COVID care remaining, our members have heard little direct communication about extending this and have provided examples of it coming abruptly to an end.’

‘This is absolutely not a blame game,’ added Ms Rayner. ‘We recognise the very significant financial pressures that local authorities are facing, and we need urgently to find a solution that doesn’t put authorities in a position of having to make extraordinarily difficult choices, which ultimately limit the distribution of the financial support that the Government intended to reach the frontline of care, and ensure that services continue to be provided to our most vulnerable citizens.

‘Together, we must work to ensure that we get the funding on track, to ensure each and every care provider can fulfil their commitments to enable those who receive care and support to have access to safe, quality, person centered care.’

Photo Credit – Truthseeker08 (Pixabay)

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