The council is providing support to care providers in a number of different ways.
Dudley Local Outbreak Control Plan
As a council and together with our partners, we’ve done everything in our power to contain and delay the spread of Coronavirus and we continue support our residents, business and communities to save lives, keep the services they rely on running and save livelihoods. We’ve maintained bin collections and care services, kept schools open for children of key workers, re-introduced our green bin collections and re-opened the tip as well as introduces a raft of measures for businesses.
Throughout, we’ve worked closely with partners and the voluntary sector to ensure our most vulnerable residents get the support they need and we have initiated a number of targeted public awareness campaigns.
As we move our focus to the next phase of management of the COVID-19 epidemic, a locally led system to prevent and reduce transmission of the virus is critical.
This local outbreak control plan builds on the strong relationships with key partners and the approach already in place for tackling situations and outbreaks locally during the pandemic including work across our care homes.
The aim of this plan is to reduce the spread of the virus, to prevent and minimise the impact of a potential second wave, whilst reducing the direct and indirect health, social and economic consequences. It details how we identify early and manage local outbreaks and how we will support high risk locations and vulnerable communities.
We will continue to review and adapt the plan as the local situation changes, in line with national guidance, engagement and consultation with local people and communities.
The success of this local approach and in order that we can protect all and support recovery will rely on good relationships and integration with national, regional and local partners and schemes, and good communication and engagement with the public.
- There is daily contact between our Commissioning Team and care providers in the borough. This has been in place since the start of the pandemic and will continue. The feedback from our providers has been positive with the contacts focussed on provider support (manager / staff) as opposed to pure data collation.
- In addition to this providers are able to access PPE where supplies are running low directly from the Commissioning Team, 7 days a week at no charge
Providers are also issued with the latest and most relevant guidance whilst also accessing on-line training and support provided by the council and West Midlands Regional Networks
- The council has purchased and supplied a number of Samsung tablets to care homes and supported living providers. This has enabled residents and tenants to maintain contact with family and friends and has been positively received. We are continuing to explore additional supplies to more care providers including Extra Care in the borough
- Commissioning of a wraparound Care Home In-Reach Service providing additional staff (carers and nurses) to care homes where staffing levels are low and potentially unsustainable. The service is also used to support Quality of Care through staff support
- Development and mobilisation of a bespoke service for people with cognitive impairment issues / substance misuse who are Covid-19 positive and are struggling to isolate. The service will protect the individuals concerned and limit the risk of wider transmission
Public Health Support
A group was set up in the very early days of the pandemic to monitor and support care homes and respond to COVID-10 infection in a system wide approach. This approach includes:
- Regular data collection about the number of residents and staff who have tested positive, the total number of staff who have been tested , and the level of PPE to inform logistical and workforce support . The system monitors the clinical situation of residents and provides clinical and infection prevention control measures.
- Infection protection support and guidance to care homes that have had outbreaks.
- Identification of care homes with zero infections and support to re-enforce control measures to ensure that they remain infection free
- A multi-agency communication plan has been developed to ensure that all partners communicate important updates to care homes via a single communication channel, to avoid giving conflicting advice
- Coordination of proactive testing for all care homes residents (symptomatic and a symptomatic )
- Coordination of mobile testing of care home and social care staff , to date over 1700 care home staff have been tested
- End of life care and bereavement support provided
The Council has prioritised support across the care sector including:
- C.2m PPE spend forecast by the end of May. We have daily contact with all care providers, we also provide PPE to informal carers and Direct Payments recipients. Stock levels are an average of 2-3 weeks at present. We have provided PPE to all of the above without charge and will continue to do so throughout the pandemic
- C. £2.5m ring-fenced to invest into the care market. Payments commenced w/c 11th May. This represents 3 months of additional cost pressures at an average 10% increase from end March onwards. This is being paid in the form of one off grants and providers will not be expected to table any further evidence than they have already submitted
- Provision of a short term injection of cash to some providers who were facing major sustainability issues due to closure of income generating services
- We have provided guarantees to micro enterprises and other services in receipt of Direct Payment income that payment will be made irrespective of whether services can operate or not
- We are currently finalising plans to allocate the Dudley share of the £600m national infection control allocation from Government
Support to providers that the local authority has contracts with
|Domicilary Care||Care Homes||Other||Total spent to date since on supporting providers the local authority has contracts with in response to COVID-19|
Support to providers that the local authority does not have contracts with
|Domicilary Care||Care Homes||Other||Total spent to date since on supporting providers the local authority does not have contracts with in response to COVID-19|
*The council contracts with all care homes in the borough
Dudley Council Care Homes Support Submission
Dudley Council has submitted its Care Home Support Plan to the Department of Health indicating the support provided to the Dudley market as well as the key challenges and solutions that we have jointly incurred. The plan is detailed in the attachment to this page
Infection Control Grant
In addition to the funding made available to local authorities to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) pressures the Government has also announced that a further £600million is to be made available to councils to support providers with infection control measures.
Primarily this money is to support care homes but the council does have some discretion in allocating this money and has allocated money to a range of providers including domiciliary care, extra care and supported living providers. A small amount of funding is also being utilised to support some smaller organisations with Infection control measures
In the Grant Determination Letter for the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund, the Government stipulated that local authorities must provide returns specifying how the grant has been spent and explaining how the expenditure meets the objectives of the fund. The infection Control Fund is issued in two funding rounds.
The information below is taken from the updated return provided to Government on 16th July 2020, in respect of the Round 1 allocation of money received via the Infection Control Fund.
|Allocation of Infection Control Fund received as of 26 June||£1,491,641.50|
|Allocation of Infection Control Fund dispensed as of 16th July 2020||£1,454,350.00|
Under the grant condition, local authorities must allocate 75% of the first months funding straight to care homes within the local authority’s geographical area on a ‘per beds’ basis, including to social care providers with whom the local authority does not have existing contracts.
|Please confirm whether your LA allocated 75% of the first month’s funding straight to care homes within the local authority’s geographical area||Yes|
The grant conditions specify that the funding must be used for infection control measures and that at least 75% of the grant funding must be used to support the measures listed within the grant conditions, while the remaining 25% may be used on other COVID-19 infection control measures including payments to domiciliary care and supported living providers.
|Round 1 Infection Control Grant||Care Homes||Domiciliary Care (Including Supported Living)||Others|
|Please indicate the number of providers who have received funding||94||55||0|
We are currently administering the round 2 funding to care homes, domiciliary care and supported living providers. A final summary of both rounds of Infection Control Grant issued will be published on this page in September 2020.