Financial support extended to help county's care homes

Councillor Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council

Councillor Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council - Credit: Courtesy of Hertfordshire County

Care homes in Herts will continue to receive financial support from the county council as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an impact.

Throughout the pandemic, the county council has reimbursed commissioned care providers for additional costs relating to COVID-19 – not covered by the government, including costs associated with staff sickness, additional staffing and PPE and infection control measures.

On Monday, September 20 a meeting of the council’s cabinet agreed to extend that support until March next year.

Depending on the support that becomes available, the cost could amount to between £636,000 and £2.9m.

At the meeting, executive member for adult care, health and wellbeing Cllr Stella Nash said: “Clearly the financial impact of the pandemic on providers has been significant

“Financial support has been given from HCC and also from the government, which has been welcomed and well-received – and we ask that it continues.

“The care market is still very vulnerable at this point in time due to this pandemic and will require ongoing support for the rest of the financial year and beyond.”

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Cllr Nash said the health and care system was “extremely challenged” as a result of hospital discharges, and this was leading to increased social care demand and to increasing costs.

She also pointed to the pandemic's impact on demand for other adult services.

Leader of the county council Cllr Richard Roberts said: “We were really clear very early on in March of last year that we would support the care sector – however they needed to be supported.

“But we set out some clear principles about how we would do that.

“And in a sense this report today is a further continuance of that support for the care provider marker.”

Cllr Roberts thanked staff and care providers for looking after the most vulnerable during the pandemic, including Hertfordshire Care Providers, who supported the care sector with messaging, courses and training.

Throughout 2020/21 additional support from the county council had amounted to £12.97m.

The report also highlighted £5.1m that the county council had set aside to support commissioned care providers who may fall into financial difficulty, as a result of the pandemic.