Decision details

CR/385/06/20 - Supplier Relief Scheme (SRS) linked to the Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 02/20 Supplier Relief due to Covid-19, up to the 30th June 2020.

Decision Maker: Director of Adults, Health and Well-Being, Director of Corporate Resources

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

LaingBuisson were commissioned by local government (LGA and ADASS) and worked with the Care Provider Alliance (CPA), to estimate the additional financial pressures on independent adult social care providers due to COVID-19. The summary findings of the report were released to Local Authorities early June; the additional cost to providers is estimated at £6.6billion, with nearly two thirds of that cost relating to PPE, representing the largest single financial pressure on providers.

The government has advised public bodies via the PPN 02/20 Supplier Relief due to COVID19, to help ensure supplier sustainability through the COVID19 pandemic. This was further enhanced by the ADASS/LGA note circulated 8th April 2020.

The Director of Adults, Health & Wellbeing DASS wrote to providers 7th May setting out support available through the Supplier Relief Scheme and confirming that PPE costs incurred were within scope for reimbursement.
- The Adult Social Care sector is nationally recognised as a vulnerable market.
- The providers range from those that are locally or regionally based to multi-nationals but all providers applying through the scheme operate locally and have a high percentage of staff employed from within the borough.- Care Homes are at the forefront of the epidemic and are facing increased costs related to infection control, including the extraordinary costs of PPE supplies.
- Most providers are heavily reliant on the Council for income.
- Essential requirement to sustain providers to ensure care needs of residents can be met once COVID19 is over.


The providers (as identified in the attached Officer Decision Record) have applied to the council for additional costs they have incurred as a result of COVID19. In calculating the level of relief in relation to the additional costs, the following principles have been established:-

- Available to all CQC registered Care Homes in Doncaster and Council commissioned Domiciliary Care providers, including Supported Living and Extra Care
- Support relates to actual expenditure incurred (evidenced by invoices/receipts) and therefore provides no basis for an ongoing fee increase
- PPE costs are outside the scope of costs which providers would be expected to incur as part of their normal business continuity plans and will not provide an ongoing business benefit beyond COVID
- The extent of additional workforce costs is beyond that which a provider would be expected to incur as part of their normal business continuity plans
- Agency costs for COVID related sick (ensuring that these costs are net of any salary cost savings e.g. if absent staff have not been paid in full, the full cost of agency should not be claimable)
- SSP costs (where they cannot be recovered from Government and where the absence was covered by additional hours/agency)
- The relief must be proportionate and sense checked – i.e. the usage reflects the operational requirements of the provider
- The relief relates to additional costs incurred and does not equate to compensation for lost profit (in line with PPN02/20).

Relief covers the period March – 14th May 2020 for domiciliary care, supported living and extra care housing providers on the basis that the discretionary element of the Infection Control Fund PC funding can cover PPE costs in June.

See attached Officer Decision Record for full details.

Decision:

To grant supplier relief for PPE when applied for under the SRS to Home Care Providers, Home Care and Extra Care Providers and Supported Living Providers up to the 14th May 2020.

To grant supplier relief for staff costs when applied for under the SRS to Residential Care Providers, Home Care and Extra Care Providers and Supported Living Providers up to the 14th May 2020.

Alternative options considered:

1. Not grant the supplier relief under SRS – the additional cost burden of infection control may put some providers at risk financially and compromise their infection control measures leading to reduced quality of care and ongoing sustainability issues.

2. Grant relief in proportion to the amount of business contracted with the Council – The cost of infection control measures in a home has no direct relationship to the number of clients the Council commissions within the home. Infection control measures will differ depending on a number of factors such as the nature of provision and capacity to control infection, including the design of the building and ability to segregate staff and clients.

3. Grant a fixed sum per bed / visit / client – this is an approach that was considered and discounted as the council could not be assured that providers would not benefit inadvertently as described above, infection control measures are not determined purely by the number of clients. Some LAs have provided 10% fee increases as an immediate response but this could create an issue in terms of the cost of care and ongoing debates about fees.

4. Cap the relief at a fixed sum per bed / visit /client - this approach would limit the Councils total exposure but is not a measure required at the outset (this may be reviewed depending on level of future claims received).

Publication date: 31/03/2021

Date of decision: 30/07/2020

Accompanying Documents: