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06th April 2021

Adult Social Care Infection Control & Testing Fund – Summary (Last update: 06.04.21)

The Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund’s main purpose is to support adult social care providers, including those who do not have a contract with the local authority, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmissions within and between care settings. In particular, this is by helping to reduce the need for staff movements between sites, as well as supporting the wider workforce resilience.

The Fund was initially worth £600 million and due to its success in limiting the transmission of COVID-19, it was extended until March 2021, with an extra £546 million of funding. In January 2021, the Rapid Testing Fund was introduced to support additional lateral flow testing (LFT) of staff in care homes and allow indoor visiting, where possible.

Both funding streams, the Infection Control Fund and the Rapid Testing Fund, have now been consolidated and extended until June 2021 with an extra £341 million of funding.

What is the new grant?

The new grant has separate conditions to the original Infection Control Fund, the extension to the Infection Control Fund and the original Rapid Testing Fund. It has two allocations:

  1. Infection prevention and control measures
  2. Rapid testing measures

The funding will be paid to local authorities in April 2021 and funding must be passed onto adult social care providers no longer than 20 working days after receipt of the funding by the local authority.

It is expected that there may be some cross over between the two allocations.

Who is the Fund for?

The infection control aspect of the Fund must be used for COVID-19 infection control measures and 70% of each local authority installment should be passed on to:

  • Care homes within the local authority’s geographical area on a ‘per beds’ basis
  • CQC regulated community care providers within the local authority’s geographical area on a ‘per user’ basis

An alternative approach can be taken by the local authority where it is consistent with the intention of the funding to provide an equitable level of funding among providers, has been consulted upon with the local provider sector and is carried out at the local authority’s own risk. Any alternative approaches taken must be emailed to the Department of Health and Social Care .

Measures that can be funded

Local Authorities must ensure that all funding passed on to providers is spent on the following infection control measures across the different social care providers:

Residential settings

  • Staff who are isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wage whilst doing so. Forms of isolation include:
    1. Those with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 waiting for tests
    2. Staff isolating for 10 days following a positive test
    3. Where a member of the staff’s household has suspected or tested positive for COVID-19
    4. Staff member quarantining before receiving certain NHS procedures
  • Staff limited to only working in one care home are compensated for a reduction in hours due to restriction on their movements
  • Limiting or cohorting staff to individual groups of residents or floors/wings by employing more staff or making physical changes to the care home i.e. separating floors/wings
  • Support the recruitment process of additional staff and volunteers
  • To support limiting the use of public transport for members of staff
  • Provide accommodation for staff who choose to stay separated from their families
  • Support safe visiting in care homes, for example by having dedicated staff to support and facilitate visits
  • Costs of PCR testing including where staff need to attend work for the purposes of being tested, they are paid their usual wages to do so and any costs associated with travelling to a testing facility
  • Costs of vaccination

Community care settings

  • Staff who are isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wage whilst doing so. Forms of isolation include:
    1. Those with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 waiting for tests
    2. Staff isolating for 10 days following a positive test
    3. Where a member of the staff’s household has suspected or tested positive for COVID-19
    4. Staff member quarantining before receiving certain NHS procedures
  • Steps to limit the number of different people from a home care agency visiting particular service users
  • Meeting additional costs when restricting workforce movements, this includes staff who work on a part-time basis for multiple employers and agency staff
  • Ensuring staff that need to attend work to get tested for COVID-19 are paid their usual wages
  • To support limiting the use of public transport for members of staff
  • Costs of PCR testing
  • Costs of vaccination

Rapid Testing Fund

Local authorities should pass 60% of this funding to care homes, on a per-bed basis, with funding spent on the following measures:

  • Staff costs associated with training and carrying out lateral flow testing (webinars, online guidance etc.)
  • Supporting safe visiting
  • Recruitment of new staff to facilitate testing
  • Costs of maintaining a separate testing area
  • Costs of disposal of LFTs and testing equipment

Restrictions on the use of the funding

The purpose of the Fund is to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmissions in and between care settings and support additional lateral flow testing for staff, including those that do not have contracts with the local authority.  The Fund cannot be used to address any general financial pressures providers might be experiencing or any costs incurred before 1st April 2021.

The rapid testing allocation should not be used to pay for IPC measures and vice versa, however in some instances some costs may cut across both purposes.

The Fund cannot be used to pay usual staff wages, top up furlough wages or for staff that are off sick with conditions other than COVID-19. PPE is being provided for registered providers through the PPE portal until the end of June 2021 and so the direct funding can also not be used to purchase PPE.

Recipient requirements

In order to receive funding, care providers will be required to adhere to the following requirements for the duration of the Fund (until the end of June 2021):

  • Complete the Capacity Tracker at least twice (two consecutive weeks)
  • Committed to completing the Capacity Tracker at least once a week until the end of the Fund
  • Previous spending from any funding was in line with the conditions in the grant

Providers should have spent the funding by the end of June 2021 and any unspent money should be repaid. Receipts and records must be kept by the provider in the event they might have to provide reassurances.

Full guidance on the Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund can be found here.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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