Shropshire Council - supporting care providers
Shropshire have provided financial support to care providers and flexibility to domiciliary care providers during Covid-19 to ensure people are looked after and safely supported.
What was your response to Covid-19?
Shropshire decided to provide a one off payment to providers as they knew that providers are currently incurring significant additional costs in relation to the purchasing of PPE, agency staff, funding for staff who are unable to work and other financial challenges and this will immediately support their cash flow.
What was different about this approach?
Shropshire Council were able to give front line care provider organisations a one off payment which was representative of an additional 10% of their contract value for three months.
These payments were made to providers within ten days of the decision being made to provide this additional funding. In addition, to assist local suppliers and companies during Covid-19, the council is committed to pay invoices within 5 working days of the invoice date or sooner rather than on the usual 30-day terms. This commenced from 1 April 2020.
From the onset of Covid-19 Shropshire Council Domiciliary care providers have been able to flex their contracts by 25% both up and down in costs and this has not affected their contract value.
Shropshire has continued to pay all block contracts for providers despite them not being able to deliver services in some cases. They have also continued to pay spot contracted day service providers who continue to support individuals remotely.
What is the impact and benefit for people?
Providers were able to use this funding to support them financially to cover costs of agency staff, purchasing of additional PPE and in some cases make up a short fall income where business had reduced as a direct result of Covid-19.
This additional funding has meant that providers have been able to sustain their businesses and support individuals safely as they were able to afford PPE to ensure they are taking all infection and prevention control measures and staffing levels remained safe.
Many providers have said that this payment has been a lifeline to help them though the sudden and unexpected financial impact of Covid and the Council has had lots positive feedback:
“Shropshire Council has been amazing in general and specifically the 10% payment which is much appreciated and will help to pay for PPE etc.” Alison says Anchorage
Is the solution sustainable post Covid-19?
The additional funding was only available short term at the height of the pandemic, further funding has been released by the government to support providers with infection and prevention control, but the expectation is, as the pandemic subsides, providers will develop their own business models to enable them to sustain the ongoing infection prevention control requirements.
Providers will also be supported to adapt their business models as the commissioning requirements change as a result of the pandemic.
Commissioners anticipate a reduced demand from people and families for residential/nursing care.
For more information about Shropshire's approach to markets and commissioning, please contact Tanya.Miles@shropshire.gov.uk