Hertfordshire County Council draws up plans to extend financial support for care providers
The plans to extend the support were highlighted to a meeting of the council’s adult care, health and wellbeing cabinet panel
Hertfordshire County Council have drawn-up plans to continue to offer financial support to care homes, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, the county council has stepped in to reimburse commissioned care providers for additional costs related to Covid-19 – not covered by the government.
That has included costs associated with staff sickness, additional staffing and – where not covered by government – ‘personal protective equipment’ (PPE) and infection control measures.
During the financial year 2020/21 that support amounted to £12.97m.
Now officials have drawn-up plans for that support to continue until March next year (2022) – with an estimated total cost of up to £3.6m over the 2021/22 financial year.
The plans to extend the support from September to March – which will need the support of the cabinet – were highlighted to a meeting of the council’s adult care, health and wellbeing cabinet panel on Wednesday, September 8.
Councillors heard estimates of financial support for the six months between September and March ranged between £636,000 and £2.9m – depending on the support available from government.
And at the meeting – which backed the proposal – director of adult care services Chris Badger highlighted the continuing risks around provider stability.
He said there was still “significant volatility when it comes to the impact of Covid”.
And he pointed to the impact the mandatory vaccination programme may have on staffing levels, as well as increasing pressures in the labour market.
In addition the county council also has around £5.1m set aside to support commissioned care providers who may fall into financial difficulty, as a result of the pandemic.
At the meeting the cabinet panel agreed to recommend that cabinet agree to the extension of financial support for all commissioned care providers , to meet the additional costs off Covid-19 not covered by government finding and support until March 2022.