Providers call for support
3 June, 2020
The Independent Care Group has called for financial aid to be given directly to care providers to prevent many from closing as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The group says the £3.2 billion given to local authorities to support care providers during the pandemic Covid-19 wasn’t getting to the front line fast enough. It has written to the government calling for:
- The Care Quality Commission (CQC) to waive or refund care providers’ 2020-21 registration fees
- For future government support to be delivered by the CQC
- The government to indemnify care providers against being sued over Covid-19 deaths.
ICG chair Mike Padgham said that, although deaths were falling, care providers were still struggling financially and there was a very real danger that some would fail.
“Providers are seeing falling incomes, through a lack of new clients, and rapidly rising costs from extra staffing and PPE and they need urgent help on the front line now,” said Mr Padgham. He said a good place to start would be the waiving or reimbursement of CQC registration fees for the current year.
“This is a significant expense for providers and refunding that money would be a help to them. We have written to the CQC and asked for that to happen,” he said.
“Given that the £3.2 billion promised to care providers still isn’t reaching all providers – it is patchy to say the least – we need to ensure any further financial support gets directly to care providers and we suggest that it is channelled through the CQC rather than local authorities, to avoid it becoming mired in bureaucracy.”
Mr Padgham said providers were very concerned that they may not be covered by insurance if they were sued following the death of someone they had provided care for. NHS care providers have been indemnified by the Government against such against such action.
“This has not been extended to social care providers and we are finding that our current insurance does not cover us,” he said. “This is having an impact on providers who may consider not taking on new clients for fear of repercussions. This would, in turn, impact upon the fight against coronavirus.
“We have therefore written to health secretary Matt Hancock, calling on him to extend indemnity against legal action to social care providers.”