During the coronavirus outbreak our priority is protecting our care teams and clients. Like other care providers, we are coming to terms with the reality of providing a frontline service during an unprecedented time.
In following the latest Government guidance to provide the highest possible level of care and protection, we have seen a dramatic rise in many of our day-to-day costs. These include staffing (covering absences of our own team members due to shielding, self-isolation and the virus itself, plus the resulting immediate need for agency staff) and making sure our care teams have the personal protection equipment (PPE) they need. To give an example of the increased costs we are facing at the moment, the PPE bill for our services rose by 500% in April.
Thousands of people rely on our care – in our care and nursing homes, and our home care and live-in care services. As reported on BBC South Today and in the national press, a number of care homes are at risk of collapsing. Having been providing care for more than 30 years, we want to be able to continue to deliver care to our most vulnerable members of society, during coronavirus and beyond. So reluctantly we are faced with having to temporarily pass a proportion of those extra costs onto our clients.
We have written to all our clients – including local councils and people who fund their care themselves – to explain the reasons behind this decision and how they are affected.
The temporary surcharge will be calculated monthly. The amount passed on will reflect the additional costs during coronavirus. It does not include any profit margin.
We have not taken this decision lightly and would like to reassure clients that we will remove the monthly surcharge as soon as we can. We appreciate the ongoing support of our clients and their loved ones at this very challenging time.