Infection Control Fund for care homes

We know that care providers have been doing their utmost to keep those they look after safe and well in the most challenging circumstances.

The government has committed over £3.2 billion in COVID-19 specific funding for local government, an unprecedented level of additional support. On 15 May 2020, the government published the details of a new £600 million Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in care homes.

The Adult Social Care Action Plan set out how the government and other parts of the system are supporting people who receive adult social care, both at home and in other settings, so that the spread of COVID-19 can be controlled in care settings, maintain care for people who need it, and save lives.

But this pandemic does not allow us to stand still. Since the publication of the Adult Social Care Action Plan, the government has been working on the next step of interventions to support the sector.

Kent’s Care Home Support Plan

We know that many care providers are facing challenges; however, care homes have been particularly susceptible to outbreaks of COVID-19. The documents below lay out our plan to prevent and control COVID-19 in all registered care homes.

How we are using the Infection Control Fund grant

Under the Infection Control Fund grant condition, local authorities must allocate 75% of the first month’s funding straight to care homes within the local authority’s geographical area on a ‘per beds’ basis, including to social care providers with whom the local authority does not have existing contracts.

The position as of 17 July 2020 is that we have passed on £6,734,995 to 494 care homes. We are awaiting further information before being able to pay a further 17 care homes.

These care homes have met the criteria to receive the first instalment of funds which includes updating and committing to update the NHS Tracker. We are monitoring this in line with our responsibilities as detailed in Kent’s Care Home Support Plan.

In order to receive the second instalment of funds each care home needs to continue to update the NHS Tracker and tell us what they intend to spend the grant on.

Care homes have identified that they will spend the fund on a wide range of things including:

  • additional uniforms for staff
  • specialist fogging machines to decontaminate the home
  • new kitchen equipment to improve infection control
  • electronic devices such as tablets to reduce the use of paper.

We have also agreed the criteria for the allocation of the remaining 25% of the Infection Control Fund. We have worked with the 2 key trade associations, the Kent Integrated Care Alliance (KICA) and the National Care Association (NCA), to co-produce how this money could be spent to best effect.

It was agreed that a proportion of the money should be given to KICA and NCA to support all providers through a suspension of membership fees, support and guidance with infection control measures, including Webinars and information sharing. Consideration was made to share the funding equally amongst all community care providers, using similar principles to the 75% allocation, however it was decided that this would spread the funding too thinly.

The majority of the money will be shared amongst community providers who deliver Kent County Council commissioned care hours, namely care and support in the home, supported living and extra care housing.

Money will be allocated based on a blend of commissioned hours and number of clients. Work is being done to determine the providers and their commissioned hours to finalise the allocation.