From:                                   Rob Whiteman, CIPFA <cipfa@email.cipfa.org.uk>

Sent:                                    20 May 2020 13:14

To:                                        Moore, Ashleigh

Subject:                                CIPFA COVID-19 Bulletin

 

Weekly update on coronavirus

CIPFA | The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy


CIPFA COVID-19 Bulletin

Infection Control Fund for care homes 

On 15 May, the government published allocations for a new package of support for care homes. This ring-fenced fund for social care is being provided to ensure care homes can continue to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

In total, £600m was allocated based on the number of care home beds locally, with an adjustment to reflect the costs of operating in each area. The funding will be paid in two equal instalments to qualifying councils.

This funding can only be used as specified in the accompanying guidance in relation to infection control - to reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience.  Given the constraints attached to this funding, it cannot be used to support the provider market in their wider concerns regarding loss of income as a result of under-occupancy, or other issues outside of infection control.

The funding is conditional upon a daily review of care homes in a given area.  Seventy-five per cent of the initial funding will be passed straight to care homes, with the second payment contingent on the first being used for infection control. This remaining 25% must also be used for infection control measures, but local authorities will be able to allocate it on the basis of need, so could be used to support domiciliary care.  

The guidance accompanying the funding also sets out the requirement for each local authority to produce and publish a local care home support plan by 29 May.

Discretionary Business Rate Fund 

Each authority will be notified by letter about their allocation from this fund. This will be based on data submissions from 4th May - specifically your projection of total spend.

Guidance has been published and BEIS have been advised of the delays likely to be caused by the development and approval of a scheme and application process.

Our partnership with Xantura

CIPFA has teamed up with data management company Xantura to help councils identify the individuals and households most vulnerable to both the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19.

Government data provided through ‘Operation Shield’ identifies individuals deemed to be ‘at risk’ but has been limited to those with high clinical need. This new service goes further, identifying vulnerable people and households based on a much broader set of risk factors. These include: debt levels; income and reliance on benefits; whether they live alone; and disabilities, alongside a wider set of health issues. 

The service will allow councils to better understand the communities they serve, and improve decisions around service provision based on robust local evidence.

For more information, visit our website or contact: John.O'Halloran@cipfa.org

We will also be hosting a free webinar introducing the new service on Wednesday 27 May at 2pm. Register here.

Emerging from lockdown 

When we emerge from lockdown, the pressure on local authority budgets will continue. It is vital that there is recognition of the increased demand on services that we are likely to see from parts of society that may not be hitting the headlines at the moment. For example recent research from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) found that 70% of 18 to 24 year olds feel more anxious about the future, compared with 47% of over-75s.

Local authorities often support small but vital voluntary and community organisations that provide targeted support to the most marginalised. Funding cuts have seen many of these services disappear at a high cost to statutory services. At this point, outcome-based budgets and the importance of prevention need to be reflected in decision making.

Revaluation of GP surgeries 

The Valuation Office Agency is planning to review the valuations for purpose-built GP surgeries. Most valuations are expected to reduce by around a third, depending on the age of the property.

Update from Networks 

Revenues and Benefits network

New information from CIPFA’s Benefits Advisor is now available on the impact of COVID-19 on benefits recipients, including the job retention scheme and tax credit implications. Employees affected by COVID-19 will retain entitlement to tax credit until the Job retention scheme closes. 

Additional topics include the Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/451). The regulations prevent taking control of goods during a period where a person is prevented from leaving their home without reasonable excuse, in effect putting a stop to action by enforcement agents during lockdown.

COVID-19 advice for local authorities 

Essential guidance for local authorities on all aspects of coronavirus support can be found on the GOV.UK website. It is being regularly updated and should act as the definitive reference point for councils: Coronavirus: guidance for local government.

Further advice and guidance can also be found on CIPFA’s COVID-19 hub. 

CIPFA will be hosting a series of free webinars over the next few months that we hope will be useful to you as this difficult time. The next two we’ve got coming up are:

Personal Resilience in a Crisis – Friday 22 May, 11.30am

How can leaders drive the objectives of their organisations while maintaining their own personal resilience during a time of crisis? CIPFA CEO Rob Whiteman, Kirsty Hannah from business psychologists Nicholson McBride and CIPFA trainer Brendan McCarron will provide expert insight and advice on how to be a resilient leader during the COVID-19 crisis. Amy Browne from CCLA also joins to discuss the importance of workplace mental health during these challenging times. Register here.

How To Be An Effective Leader In A Crisis – Thursday 28 May, 1pm

Providing effective leadership within your organisations is critical – especially in times of unprecedented crisis. Sir Michael Barber, former Head of the Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Delivery Unit, and Joanna Killian, CEO of Surrey County Council, share their experiences and advice on how to overcome unexpected challenges in this timely webinar focused on crisis management. Register here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please share any questions or issues you’re experiencing to Joanne Pitt,
CIPFA Local Government Policy Manager: joanne.pitt@cipfa.org

Rob Whiteman
Chief Executive, CIPFA


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