Decision Maker: Executive Director Resources, Executive Director Adult Social Care
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
On 29 January 2021 the Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC) published details of the ADULT SOCIAL CARE (ASC) WORKFORCE CAPACITY FUND.
This fund is to enable local authorities to deliver measures to supplement and strengthen Adult Social Care staff capacity to ensure that safe and continuous care during this period of the pandemic.
Surrey County Council’s (SCC) funding allocation is £2m.
The key aspects of the fund are as follows:
· The grant is for the period 16th January 2021 – 31st March 2021, and must be fully spent by 31st March 2021.
· Funding can be retained by local authorities towards their own ASC staffing costs or distributed to external providers.
· 70% of the funding is being paid to local authorities in early February.
· The remaining 30% will be paid in March and is dependent on local authorities completing a return to DHSC setting out how the funding will be used by 12th February.
It was agreed that SCC would distribute 75% of the fund (£1.5m) to external community care providers who have complied with the Infection Control Fund grant conditions and retain 25% of the fund (£0.5m) as a contribution to SCC’s ASC staffing costs related to responding to the pandemic in grant period.
To support ASC providers with additional staffing costs they are incurring due to the pandemic and to fund a proportion of the ASC staffing costs the Council is forecast to incur in the grant period.
Based on consultation with other local authorities in the South East, the 75%/25% external providers / SCC use of the grant is similar to how funding is being used across the region.
The £1.5m agreed for external ASC providers is being distributed only to community care providers who have complied with the Infection Control Funding grant conditions for the following reasons:
· Care homes have received over £25m (72%) of the £35m of Surrey’s total Infection Control Fund rounds 1 and 2 funding, and additionally 100% of the £4.7m Rapid Testing funding. It is felt therefore that this workforce funding should be prioritised for community care providers.
· Providers who have complied with the Infection Control Fund grant conditions have demonstrated their willingness to confirm back to SCC how grant funding has been spent in line with the grant conditions, which will be a requirement for this workforce funding as well.
SCC must spend the Workforce Capacity Fund in line with the grant conditions and all funding must be fully spent by 31st March 2021.
SCC could have chosen to distribute more or less funding to external ASC providers. The 75% to be allocated to external providers is considered to be a fair allocation in the context of SCC’s own ASC workforce costs and taking into account the approach of other local authorities in the region.
SCC could have chosen to pay funding to care homes as well as community care providers. It is considered appropriate to limit funding allocations to community care providers in light of the significant amount of funding already paid to care homes through the Infection Control Fund and Rapid Testing Fund.
Publication date: 12/02/2021
Date of decision: 11/02/2021