06 May 2020
Almost £200,000 is being issued to care providers needing financial support in Northamptonshire due to covid-19

​Almost £200,000 is being issued to care providers needing financial support in Northamptonshire due to Covid-19.

Payments totalling £112,000 will be issued this week, with a further £80,000 of payments being processed for other providers.

This is in addition to the planned annual fee rises that were included in this year’s budget and which will be backdated to the start of April this year. The fee increase will be twice what it was last year and letters confirming the details of this will be issued this week, several months earlier than usual.

As well as the financial support, the county council established a Provider Support Hub in early March, providing advice and guidance to care providers and taking requests for PPE. This is also supported by CCG staff. This is open 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. Providers can contact the hub directly via NASSCOVIDC@nass.uk.net  and 01604 361311.

The council and the CCG have coordinated regular contacts with all providers hosting call-in sessions three times a week where any provider or group can raise questions and get information and supported by Norarch. This is in addition to a continuous cycle of contacting all care and support providers' individuality to check they are successfully managing the situation as well as offer support and advice.

All symptomatic and confirmed incidences of Covid-19 across the care sector are being monitored and recorded, and action is being taken to support providers with infection control and ensuring appropriate PPE is available to them, helping to keep both staff and customers safe. Working with the CCG the council now has a mobile taskforce who are attending any homes that are struggling and need help with training, advice or clinical help.

Councillor Ian Morris said: "We know that this is a particularly challenging time for care providers, unfortunately by their very nature are a high risk given that the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are most at risk from this virus.

"That's why alongside Public Health England, the CCG and CQC we worked quickly and put measures in place to help keep customers and staff as safe as possible. This includes the provider hardship fund, and we have responded to requests for payment with almost £200,000 being allocated already. We have also worked to make sure they get their uplift information much earlier than usual.

“We also set up the provider hub, which has since become national best practice and has been mandated nationally as a requirement in all areas.

"We have been regularly contacting care homes to check they are coping okay, and where any short-term issues have been picked up we have responded rapidly, in some cases providing support such as PPE equipment within just half an hour of being contacted.

"At the same time we have been working with GPs and community health partners around prevention and infection control and with public health to identify and track all cases and outbreaks. With the support of Northampton General Hospital, we were also able to undertake staff testing for all care home staff ahead of the national programme being launched. We have also set up additional sites, supported by health partners, should we need to move any residents or for any residents that cannot return to their care home from hospital.

"Above all, our focus remains the welfare of staff and residents and we want to assure them and the families of all care home residents that we continue to do everything we can to protect them at this challenging time."