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Urgent call for emergency funding

11 March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences on adult social care. Like every other industry in the UK, without essential government intervention many social care providers would not have been able to operate to deliver vital services throughout the pandemic.

Emergency funding from the government has been a lifeline. This has consisted of the Adult social care Infection Control Fund first introduced in May 2020 and extended in the autumn - providing over £546m of essential funding to the sector. The Adult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund of £149m and the Workforce Capacity Fund provided an additional £120m to support local authorities and social care providers to maintain safe staffing levels in accordance with the requirements set out in the government’s Winter Plan. All three funds have been critical in facilitating and supporting social care providers to meet government policy and guidance, in the control and management of infections including regular testing of staff and residents; the care workforce and capacity issues; and in the management of safe visits to care homes. It has taken months to get these systems in place to ensure service continuity during what has been an unprecedented onslaught of the COVID-19 virus.

Reports earlier this week from the Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Chris Whitty warns of another surge in coronavirus cases in the UK being inevitable and could hit in late summer, despite the success of the country’s ongoing vaccine rollout. He stressed the need to remain vigilant. Yet the Chancellor in his budget statement last week did not announce any specific measures for social care, despite the imminent end to the emergency funding on 31st March 2021.

Kathy Roberts, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance (CPA), the collective body of adult social care trade associations, said:

“Evidence available to the Care Provider Alliance indicates that less than a third of local authorities have declared their fee rates beyond 1st April. Those that have, are offering 0-2% uplifts which is far short of the increase to the national living wage (NLW), and the sums needed to adequately support social care providers.

“We echo the warning from Prof. Whitty that it is essential to remain vigilant and consistent in the management of reducing the risk of transmission, and call on the government to immediately extend the emergency funding available to the sector as a matter of urgency. The clock is ticking and time is running out. It is vital that care providers have a clear understanding of what measures will be in place to support them to operate after the deadline of 31st March of the emergency funding arrangements.”

Note to Editors§

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) brings together the 10 main national associations, which represent independent and voluntary adult social care providers in England.  We work to represent the sector and ensure a coordinated response to the major issues that affect it.

The CPA bring together the ten national associations, which represent private, voluntary and community sector providers. We speak for the whole of the adult social care sector including care homes, home care services, Shared Lives schemes and retirement communities.

CPA members cover almost 10,000 organisations, employ over 600,000 staff and support an estimated 1 million people.

For more information visit Care Provider Alliance – About us.

Media contact: Edna Petzen, edna.petzen@nationalcareforum.org.uk 07397 158596