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05th July 2021

Adult Social Care Infection Control & Testing Fund – Summary (Last update: 05.07.21)

What is the Adult Social Care Infection Control and Testing Fund?

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. It also aims to support testing of staff and visitors in care homes, supported living and extra care facilities, to support close contact visiting.

The Fund was initially worth £600 million and due to its success in limiting the transmission of COVID-19, it first 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, were consolidated and extended until June 2021 with an extra £341 million of funding.

A new announcement in June 2021 has seen a further £250 million being added to the Fund to extend it beyond June until September 2021. The extra funding is made up of £142.5 million for Infection Control Funding and £108.8 million for testing.

What is the grant?

This new grant has separate allocations and its main purpose is to:

  1. Reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission within and between care settings through effective infection control and increase uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  2. Conduct testing in care homes, supported living and extra care settings, which are high risk, to support close contact visiting, where possible.

The funding will be paid to local authorities in July 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 onto 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:
    • Those with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 waiting for tests
    • Staff isolating for 10 days following a positive test
    • Where a member of the staff’s household has suspected or tested positive for COVID-19
    • 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.
  • Costs of vaccination – staff are paid their usual wages to attend another location to be vaccinated or costs associated with reaching a vaccination facility.

Community care settings

  • Staff who are isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wage whilst doing so. Forms of isolation include:
    • Those with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 waiting for tests
    • Staff isolating for 10 days following a positive test
    • Where a member of the staff’s household has suspected or tested positive for COVID-19
    • 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.
  • Costs of vaccination – where staff need to attend work or another location for the purposes of being vaccinated are paid their usual wages.

Rapid Testing Fund

Local authorities should pass 70% 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
  • Costs of PCR testing

Restrictions on the use of the funding

The Fund cannot be used to address any general financial pressures providers might be experiencing or any costs incurred.

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 March 2022 and should be the first port of call to purchase PPE.

The funding cannot be used retrospectively to compensate for expenditure incurred before 1st July 2021.

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 September 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.
  • Where applicable, provide evidence that any previous spending from any of the Funds was in line with the conditions outlined in the grant.

Providers should have spent the funding by the end of September 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. Providers should also be able to outline how they have spent funding made available to them from the grant, ahead of the Local Authorities reporting deadlines to the Department of Health.

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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