Supporting care providers

Knowsley Council's support to care providers during and after the Coronavirus pandemic

Knowsley Council is committed to working with providers to consider all options of support for frontline services with a view to helping them to remain financially stable throughout this challenging time. 

This ensures that critical funding is passed on to providers, and is helping to sustain the market by offsetting some of the escalating costs which providers are currently incurring due to the impact of COVID-19. 

Knowsley Council continues to monitor the situation closely, and this approach enables the council to continually review the arrangements in place so that the support remains appropriate and responsive to the needs of providers to enable them to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures which Knowsley Council has introduced to support providers include both temporary and permanent funding arrangements (see below).

Fee Uplift 2020/21

 
The council’s support package for 2020/21 includes emergency fee uplifts across all high risk commissioned services.  These uplifts will be reviewed at end of June 2020 in order to assess how much it has helped providers to remain sustainable:
 

Service Fee Uplift
Residential and Nursing Care 5%
Domiciliary Care 7% (Permanent)
Supported Living day rate 5%
Supported Living sleep in rate 5%
Direct Payments 5%
 
Support to Providers during the COVID-19 Crisis

 Knowsley Council’s approach is designed to provide additional financial support to providers to assist them with financial pressures as a consequence of COVID-19.  Our approach is also designed to ensure that providers remain financially stable both in the short and longer term.  Support is provided on an ongoing basis in financial and non-financial ways, as below: 

Financial Support
 

  • 5% uplift to fees for Providers (non-Domiciliary Care).
  • 7% (permanent) uplift to fees for Providers of Domiciliary Care.
  • Funding for sickness absence payments for providers of commissioned services.
  • Payment based on “commissioned hours” to secure care providers cash flows.
  • Increased payment runs to two-weekly to improve provider cash flows.
  • Funding payment of short notice cancelled homecare for 5 days (from 48 hours).
  • Administration and distribution of the newly announced Infection Control Fund (in place from June 2020).
  • The cost to date of this support is £1.990m.
  • Knowsley Council is also working with Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group to identify support needs.


Non-Financial Support
 

  • Knowsley Council is supporting care homes to recruit to posts where they are short staffed by facilitating agency recruitment.  The Council has also joined the North West Adult Social Care regional recruitment scheme which can support additional provision of staff
  • Care Home Guidance has been updated as national directives have changed, including on the use of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Emergency deliveries of Personal Protective Equipment have been co-ordinated and delivered directly to care homes from the Council’s stocks.
  • Regular teleconferences are held with providers to ensure that updated guidance is communicated and support is made available.
  • Knowsley Council is working with Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group and the North West Boroughs Infection Prevention and Control Team to maintain contact with the care homes and to offer support and advice so that the Public Health England North West COVID-19 Resource Pack is implemented across the 24 care homes in Knowsley.
  • To coordinate the increased multi agency activity in relation to care homes in Knowsley a weekly teleconference is held with the relevant Council teams, North West Boroughs Care Home Liaison Team, and Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group to review tasks and to consider what is working and what could be improved further.

Support for services where the council does not have a Contract
 

  • All residential and nursing homes in Knowsley (apart from one) have contractual arrangements in place with the Council, but providers who do not have a contract with the Council are also eligible to receive support.
  • All providers of domiciliary care who are commissioned to provide care “off framework” are eligible to receive financial support.
  • Support is offered to any other services who do not have a contract with the Council and is provided on a case by case basis following the principles of open book accounting.

 Response to Government: 29 May 2020

Knowsley Council has sent a response to Helen Whately MP on 29 May, 2020, specifying the support it is providing to care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic along with future plans.

You can read the letter here.

You can also download the Care Home Support Template referenced in the letter above.