Here’s a message from Agincare’s Chief Executive Raina Summerson about Covid, developments in the social care sector, and Agincare’s commitment to delivering high quality social care services in your community…
Social care continues to be in the news, and the long term reform and funding we had hoped to see from the government has still not yet appeared.
This time of year is always a critical time for discussions about funding in the sector given usual annual increases in the costs of delivering services, for example the National Living Wage increase. This year, with 12 months of working during the Covid-19 pandemic, these discussions are likely to receive even more focus.
There has been some central government Covid relief funds provided to the sector and these have been welcomed. All of these funds were set to cease at the end of March (aside from access to some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies, which continues until June).
We’re still awaiting details to be released following the announcement, which took place on 18 March. However, it’s a welcome, positive step to supporting additional Covid costs until June, and will help infection control, testing and visiting regimes.
However, costs of managing Covid continue, for example, managing increased infection control measures, staff absences, testing regimes, ongoing vaccination rollout and family visiting in our care homes.
Fee uplifts from Local Authorities and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are usually due in April but despite the challenges faced by social care, disappointingly these are either not yet confirmed at all or are giving very low rates of increase. This means that from 1 April, all providers will be faced with increased costs and managing the impact of Covid.
This will invariably lead to some provider failure or withdrawal from social care services, either through a lack of financial viability or personal choice. The impact of this on local communities, people in need of care and indeed the social care workforce could be damaging and the lack of continued relief funds also risks putting back the progress on vital areas such as care home visiting.
Agincare is here to stay for you
On behalf of all of us here at Agincare I would like to reassure you that, here in our 35th year of providing care, and despite the challenges to the sector, our services remain sustainable and we are committed to ongoing development of quality care in your community.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or questions about your care and support.
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