The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will provide indemnity to care homes that want to become part of the Designated Setting scheme but are unable to obtain insurance.
DHSC said it will provide a targeted and time-limited state-backed indemnity to care homes, registered or intending to register as Designated Settings, that are unable to obtain sufficient insurance cover.
Care homes in the Designated Setting scheme provide care to people leaving hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are transferring to a care home.
DHSC said obtaining sufficient insurance to accept covid positive patients and sign up to become a Designated Setting has been a barrier for some care home providers wishing to join the scheme, until now.
The indemnity will cover clinical negligence, employer’s and public liability where a care provider seeking to become a Designated Setting is unable to secure sufficient commercial insurance, or where an existing provider has been operating without sufficient cover.
The indemnity arrangements will be supervised by DHSC and administered by NHS Resolution. The indemnity will cover Designated Settings until the end of March 2021, with a review point in mid-February.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said the representative body has long called for the government to help with insurance.
He said the lack of insurance has been a major stumbling block in the low take-up of Designated Sites and so this move by the government is very welcome.
He said the majority of care homes are in the independent sector and unlike their counterparts in the NHS they do not have automatic indemnity.
‘We are delighted that the government has listened to Care England about the critical issue of insurance.
‘We look forward to working with the government to make the best of this important decision and will continue to campaign to have the difficulties associated with securing insurance cover extended to the rest of the care home sector who are crippled by sky-high premiums and lack of covid cover.
‘Adult social care and the NHS are two sides of the same coin and we welcome any move that puts us on the same footing thus making partnership much easier.
‘We look forward to continuing to work with the government on those broader issues relating to insurance in the adult social care sector. Including, the development of a policy which addresses them.’
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