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Excessive Red Tape Limiting Covid-19 Response in Care Homes

UK - A recent letter from the ADASS president to Helen Whately MP, the Minister of State for Care, has highlighted the ‘concern’ and ‘confusion’ resulting from the Infection Control Fund, which aims to limit the spread of Covid-19 in care homes.

James Bullion, who mentions having expressed the concerns privately over recent weeks, lists several administrative burdens which are making it ‘impossible for local authorities to deliver within the required timescales’.

Bullion states that the ‘biggest single issue’ for many local areas is the purchase of PPE. This, however, is not included within the scope of the funding. Costs of such equipment has increased significantly during the crisis.

In addition, ‘extremely detailed accounting’ is placing ‘unnecessary and intolerable’ burdens on providers and local authorities. Providers are struggling to justify expenditure and local authorities ‘struggle to provide assurance’, risking the money going unspent or even being ‘clawed back’.

Bullion asserts that insufficient funding is being provided for domiciliary care, and that there are ‘unrealistic expectations about when providers expect to be paid’. The system is ‘confused and overly bureaucratic ‘and is fuelling ‘unnecessary tensions between providers and local authorities’.

A quarter of known coronavirus deaths in the UK have occurred in care homes[2], according to official statistics. Bullion asserts that ‘adult social care must never again be considered as an afterthought to the NHS’.

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