What providers must do to access it:
The 75% allocation:
- Ensured that the National Capacity Tracker has been completed
- Signed and return the grant agreement by Thursday 4 June to email@example.com
- Provided Norfolk County Council with a plan using the template provided for the use of the funding by 24 June 2020 – this will enable us to prepare the necessary return to the Government in order to access the second instalment of funding for Norfolk. Beyond this date monies will be reclaimed from providers.
- Keep separate records of the funding and associated spend.
- Provide a final statement certifying that you have spent the funding on those measures by 23 September. Any unused funding will need to be returned.
The 25% allocation:
- Most providers have helpfully already returned some information about volumes of support they provide. This has helped us shape our offer within the financial grant provided.
- Letters have been sent to Home Support, Supported Living and Housing with Care providers at the end of June. These outline the requirement to complete a planning document and sign and return a grant agreement. These returns will be needed by 10 July 2020.
What it can be used for:
The 75% allocation:
We would ask providers to respect and adhere to the conditions attached to the grant, ensuring that specific examples of spending are prioritised. However, we do encourage you to action the wider solutions to infection control to enable the measures outlined in the grant conditions and make full use of the grant allocated to you.
The grant can only be used for:
- Costs incurred after 13 May 2020
- Ensuring that staff who are isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wages while doing so. At the time of issuing this information, this included staff with suspected symptoms of Covid-19 awaiting a test, or any staff member for a period following a positive test eg to uplift the pay of those who need to isolate who would normally only be entitled to statutory sick pay.
Please note we are interpreting this as having an option to be able to retrospectively pay those who fall into this category but were not paid normal wages after 13 May 2020.
- Ensuring, so far as possible, that members of staff work in only one care home. This includes staff who work for one provider across several homes or staff that work on a part-time basis for multiple employers and includes agency staff (the principle being that the fewer locations that members of staff work in the better; eg compensating staff whose normal hours are reduced due to restrictions on their movement.
- Limiting or cohorting staff to individual groups of residents or floors/wings, including segregation of Covid-19 positive residents eg paying for extra staff cover to provide the necessary level of care and support to residents or paying for structural/physical changes to support separation of floors/wings and/or residents.
Don’t forget this might include: staff time to move residents and belongings into cohorted areas; additional time to settle in residents; communication with staff and residents and families about what cohorting means; designing the communication; disseminating the same and the provision of communication mechanisms between cohorted groups.
This might include the cost of additional staff time to undertake and record the more frequent observations required for all residents during the pandemic.
We would accept small adaptations to the home, whereby they can be seen to directly improve infection control, such as: additional barriers or doors; addition of small kitchenette facilities, washing facilities, changing or storage facilities in cohorted areas to minimise staff movement between areas; rearrangement costs of internal or external areas and/or signage to allow social distancing or cohorting.
Communication devices such as two-way radios or other communication devices (eg laptops or tablets to reduce physical movement between cohorted areas, paper usage, or operate Covid-19 systems; and additional Wi-Fi equipment/capacity). This can include tablets/iPad for residents’ usage if it reduces infection risk from visitation.
- To support active recruitment of additional staff (and volunteers) if they are needed to enable staff to work in only one care home or to work only with an assigned group of residents or only in specified areas of a care home, including by using and paying for staff who have chosen to temporarily return to practice, including those returning through the NHS returners programme. These staff can provide vital additional support to homes and underpin effective infection control while permanent staff are isolating or recovering from Covid-19 eg recruitment costs, paying for additional staff, agency staff costs, associated management costs, training costs (free induction training is available through Skills for Care) incurred as a result of these measures.
Don’t forget this might include: costs of management teams (eg rearranging rotas, renegotiating contracts for additional hours, payroll changes, additional management and supervision time to embed staff changes etc); recruitment and retention costs, induction, and training time for those new/returning recruits; completing capacity tracker and other Covid-19 requested reporting; managing visitor policy; test and trace management; and appointing infection control champions.
- Steps to limit the use of public transport by members of staff. Where they do not have their own private vehicles, this could include encouraging walking and cycling to and from work and supporting this with the provision of changing facilities and rooms and secure bike storage or use of local taxi firms.
Don’t forget this might include: bike, taxi, mini bus or car mileage to collect cohorted staff teams in a locality, and the provision of extra facilities eg bicycle stands. This may extend to the purchase of bikes for staff, individually or part of a pool (but please check benefit-in-kind tax implications). Please note this may include the short-term lease/hire of a mini-bus.
- Providing accommodation for staff who proactively choose to stay separately from their families in order to limit social interaction outside work. This may be provision on site or in partnership with local hotels.
Don’t forget this might include: the use of spare rooms within the home which should be equipped to make staff comfortable, and the ‘accommodation cost’ being charged with the addition of light, heat and food. Please note we are happy if the alternative accommodation is not a hotel but provides an equivalent type service.
The 25% allocation:
- Please see all areas included in the 75% allocation, plus:
- Local authorities may use 25% of the grant on other Covid-19 infection control measures, including payments to domiciliary care providers or wider workforce measures. These wider measures could include, for example, additional financial support for the purchase of personal protective equipment by providers or by the local authority directly (although not for costs already incurred) or measures the local authority could put in place to boost the resilience and supply of the adult social care workforce in their area in order to support effective infection control.
The grant must not be used to compensate for expenditure already incurred or activities for which the local authority has earmarked or allocated expenditure or activities which do not support the primary purpose of the Infection Control Fund.
When does it need to be spent by?
- The whole grant needs to be spent within two months of the final instalment being received. All monies need to be spent by 23 September 2020.
- Any funds not used for the relevant infection control measures must be repaid to the local authorities by the end of September 2020 and if such repayments are not made, the local authorities must take such steps as necessary to recover them.
Infection Control Fund questions and answers