Finance, contractual arrangements and the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Claims for additional COVID-related costs
Claims for additional expenditure associated with coronavirus need to be submitted on the template each month and sent by email to the Integrated Commissioning Service [email protected] by the 10th of the month with CLAIM in the subject line.
From 10th of August 2020 the Council will only be to support ongoing claims that are incurred and submitted during the month period to which they relate. No further backdated payments will be made.
The Council's Covid claims process will stop after the 10th October 2020 claim.
Additional funding streams are coming to an end and the council needs to introduce some changes:
- For providers who have been receiving payments for services not running, from September payments will revert back to your normal contractual arrangements, based on the level of service delivered.
- The monthly Covid claims process will be phased out. Claims submitted by 10 September can still include all additional costs for the August period. Claims to be submitted by 10 October can only include PPE costs for the September period.
Changes to packages of care need to be managed through the usual process linking with social care and indicating whether these are coronavirus related or due to an individual's care needs.
Whilst the initial peak of the pandemic may have passed, we know that Covid-19 will be with us for some time to come. It may still be impacting on the way you deliver your services and you may still have additional costs.
We understand that you may be worried about the ongoing implications of the pandemic. If you need to get in touch with us regarding these issues please contact: [email protected]
Where payments are made by the Clinical Commissioning Group providers should sign up with the Tradeshift eInvoicing system. The NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) has produced a guide for using the Tradeshift system.
Some providers are experiencing delays when the system requires SBS to link your account to the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Mike Orton [email protected] can help with this or any other issues with the system.
Infection Control Fund
Buckinghamshire Council received £6,253,586 of infection control grant funding to support adult social care providers to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and to support wider workforce resilience.
As per the grant conditions, the Local Authority had to ensure that 75% of the total grant was paid direct to care homes within their geographical area based on a “per bed” basis. This included care homes with which the local authority does not have a contract with. The Local Authority had discretion around the allocation of the remaining 25%, however it had to be spent on other Covid19 infection control measures such as domiciliary care, supporting living and other wider workforce resilience.
The funding was received in two equal instalments in May and July. 75% of each instalment had to reach care homes within 10 working days of the grant being received. In order for care homes to be eligible to receive 75% of 1st instalment they were required to complete a Capacity Tracker and to receive 75% of the second instalment they had to commit to complete the Tracker 3 times a week on a consistent basis. In addition the second instalment was contingent on the first being used for infection control measures and being used in its entirety.
The table below illustrates how the grant was allocated:
|Grant Allocations||Allocation £||Payments Made £||Details|
|First 75% distribution to care homes||£2,345,095||£2,345,095||130 CQC registered homes in Buckinghamshire area signed up to the NHS capacity tracker|
|Second 75% distribution to care homes||£2,345,095||£2,304,915||125 CQC registered homes met the grant criteria and were eligible for the second payment. 5 homes did not receive the second payment as a result of them not meeting at least one of the grant criteria and therefore 40k was owed to the discretionary funding to be utilised on other COVID 19 infection control measures.|
|25% discretionary funding||£1,563,397||£2,304,915||£811k was allocated to 29 Domiciliary care providers, £200k to 56 Supported Living providers. £50k to 1 residential respite.|
The funding has enabled providers to pay staff full wages whilst isolating, recruit additional staff to allow staff members to work in only one care home to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and limit the number of staff having to use public transport. Some providers have used the funding to develop isolation areas for service users, staff and visitors.
In addition to the infection control grant, the Council has responded to the COVID crisis by continuing to fund providers in full for services that were closed and providing additional funds to cover COVID related expenditure. During the peak period of March to May, the council paid in circa £3.8m in claims to commissioned and non-commissioned providers supporting Buckinghamshire clients.
Information and guidance for businesses during the coronavirus crisis in available on the business support hub.
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The CQC are no longer making routine inspections but will do so where there are concerns of harm. There are no changes to the requirements to make notifications and you should continue to contact the CQC as you normally would.
The CQC has emphasised that they expect providers to:
- put contingency plans in place
- demonstrate they have appropriately assessed risk
- have an audit trail of decision making
They don't want providers to proactively share risk assessments or tell them about any action they have taken, but are happy to speak to providers if they are unsure about something.
The CQC has a coronavirus registration framework for providers responding to Department of Health and Social Care or Clinical Commissioning Group contingency planning. The framework covers new registrations and changes to service. You can submit a notification online.