Support for key suppliers and grant-supported providers during COVID-19

Our Key Supplier Support Guidance sets out how we will deal with requests for support under contract arrangements from key suppliers and grant-supported providers in response to the COVID-19 emergency and who are at risk because the payment mechanism in the contract no longer reflects the true cost to the supplier/provider.

It has been developed with Angus Health and Social Care Partnership and reflects national policy and guidance.

Contents


Supplementary guidance: Care Homes

We have developed supplementary guidance to help providers support their applications with the information we need specific to that contract group.

Guidance has been developed by Angus Council and Angus Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) on how we will deal with requests for support from providers as a result of COVID-19.  This reflects national policy and guidance and you should review this rather than rely solely on local arrangements.  Further information relating to National Guidance and Policy can be found at Appendix 1.

This document is aimed at providing further information to assist you in determining whether or not you should be making a claim for assistance and to let you know what supporting information we require to help evaluate your application.

Further business support advice can be found at Coronavirus outbreak: business updates.

What support can I claim for?

We have identified the following areas which may have impacted your service as a result of COVID-19:

Under-occupancy

We will consider claims where a care home is impacted by a reduction in occupancy because it is clinically unsafe to admit people or due to a reduction in referrals caused by COVID-19.  Claims are considered on the basis that the care home has continued to admit residents where they are able to do so. 

Payment for under-occupancy where the National Care Home Contract (NCHC) is in place will be made on the basis of 80% of the NCHC rate.  The weekly payments are:

  • Residential - £523.03 from 12 April 2021
  • Nursing - £610.94 from 12 April 2021

We will not pay an increased rate where a care home does not accept the NCHC rate or to account for care homes who charge higher self-funding rates.

This is in line with principles approved nationally by COSLA and Scottish Government.

PPE

We will consider claims for PPE relating to increased costs, having to purchase items of PPE which you did not have to previously, increased quantities etc.  We have identified the following types of PPE:

  • Gloves
  • Face masks
  • Face shields
  • Visors
  • Aprons
  • Hand sanitiser (including wipes)
  • Thermometers

You may have incurred costs for additional pieces of PPE. These can be claimed under the “Other” row of the Excel PPE Worksheet and by attaching evidence supporting the amount and the fact of payment (e.g. copy invoices). 

The period of your claim for PPE should not pre-date 28 February 2020 unless exceptional reasons are given.

Cleaning Costs

We will consider claims for additional cleaning costs. The period of your claim for cleaning costs should not pre-date 28 February 2020 unless exceptional reasons are given.

Please include this in the “PPE” costs Worksheet where indicated.

Additional Staffing Costs

We will consider claims for additional staffing costs for use of agency, sickness related costs e.g. increased costs for having to pay staff from day one rather than day four or enhanced sick pay, additional time for carrying out testing and additional management support / overtime, all if incurred for COVID-19 related reasons.

The period of your claim for additional staffing costs should not pre-date 28 February 2020 unless exceptional reasons are given.

What can’t I claim for?

We will not accept claims for audio-visual equipment, such as televisions. However, we may consider claims for IT equipment, such as tablets where it is shown that this equipment was necessary to support residents’ care needs (e.g. reducing isolation) and no other alternatives were reasonably available. We may also support claims for IT equipment for staff where this was necessary to manage service delivery in care homes and sharing of equipment was completely precluded for COVID-19 related reasons.

We will not accept claims for topping up the Government’s furlough scheme.

We will not accept claims for quality award payments.

What information do I need to provide?

To enable us to evaluate your application as quickly as possible, it is important that you provide us with supporting information and documentation.  To support this, we have created an Excel Workbook for you to record your supporting information.

Under-occupancy

Average occupancy levels / vacancies will be calculated using data submitted by care home providers for the period 23 December 2019 to 22 March 2020.  When you have entered your average occupancy for each of the periods indicated below, the spreadsheet will automatically calculate the overall average occupancy and vacancy levels. 

Example: -

BASELINE OCCUPANCY

Please enter your average occupancy levels and vacancies for the dates listed: -

 

Average Occupancy

Vacancies

23 December 2019 - 21 January 2020

55.86

22 January 2020 - 20 February 2020

55.86

21 February 2020 - 22 March 2020

59.26

0

Overall Average:-

56.99

2

In addition to baseline occupancy levels, you will need to send in weekly occupancy to date – see example below.

WEEKLY OCCUPANCY TO DATE

Please enter your actual occupancy levels on the dates listed. Extend the sheet by adding rows (drag and fill will automatically extend the dates) for any later periods of claim: -

 

Occupancy

Vacancies

Monday 23 March 2020

57 

Monday 30 March 2020

57 

Monday 06 April 2020

54 

Monday 13 April 2020

52 

Monday 20 April 2020

52 

Monday 27 April 2020

53 

To determine the level of sustainability payment, the average baseline occupancy level less the actual occupancy will be used to calculate the under occupancy.

The calculated under occupancy will be rounded to a whole number and payment will be based on one full week and calculated using the weekly rates set out above.

Going forward, further claims during the currency of the scheme can be made retrospectively on a 4-weekly basis by completing an occupancy template and including this with an invoice.

All invoices must specifically identify that they are for COVID-19 sustainability support and the period concerned.

PPE

If applying for additional PPE costs you will be asked to provide the following information using the Excel Workbook:

  • Average consumption of PPE by type for the 3-month period prior to 28 February 2020
  • Actual consumption of PPE for the period of the claim
  • Unit costs of the PPE item.  If costs have fluctuated over the period of the claim, you can provide an average.

In addition, you will have to provide a copy of the invoices covering the period of the claim.

To ease administration and speed of processing claims, please also list the invoices provided with reference to each PPE type; see this example:

PPE Type

Pre-COVID
Volume
(Units)

Current
Actual Volume
(Units)

Cost per unit

Invoice Numbers

Gloves (gloves, not pairs)

 1,000

4,000 

£0.034

AB12345 dated 01/03/2020;
CD23456 dated 01/03/2020;
DE34567 dated 22/03/2020;
EF45678 dated 23/03/2020

Face masks

450 

900 

£2.755

 AB12345 dated 01/03/2020

Face shields

78 

£0.796

 AB12345 dated 01/03/2020

Visors - Reusable

n/a 

n/a 

 

 

Visors - Single Use

n/a 

n/a 

 

 

Aprons

450 

950 

£0.045

 EF45678 dated 23/03/2020

Hand sanitiser (including wipes)

n/a 

n/a 

 

 

Thermometers

n/a 

n/a 

 

 

Additional Cleaning

0

2

£500

XY223344

Other (Aggregate and total)

n/a 

n/a 

 

 

Additional Comments (if any)

Additional cleaning costs are for a deep clean of the care home 2x / week by Initialling Cleaning Services UK

Additional Staffing Costs

If applying for additional staffing costs, you will be asked to provide the following information using the Excel Workbook:

  • Average monthly Pre-COVID costs for the three months prior to 28 February 2020 for each element of support you are claiming for
  • Current costs for the period of the claim
  • Reference numbers of supporting documentation

In addition, you will have to provide copies of documents such as invoices, redacted payslips, financial management reports etc to support your claim.

Example:-

Additional Sick Pay - Calculation

Employee

Payroll No

Period

Amount

Total For Period

AB

002345

09/03/20 – 05/04/20

£50.06

 

CD

003456

09/03/20 – 05/04/20

£50.06

£100.12

AB

002345

06/04/20 – 03/05/20

£50.06

 

CD

003456

06/04/20 – 03/05/20

£50.06

 

DE

004567

06/04/20 – 03/05/20

£50.06

 

EF

005678

06/04/20 – 03/05/20

£50.06

£200.24

XY

001122

04/05/20 – 31/05/20

£40.36

£40.36

Sustainability Payments - "Offsetting"

  1. Joint Guidance issued in December 2020 by Scottish Government and COSLA states (from para 22):

“Providers should in the first instance use [the reduced occupancy] payment to meet any other additional costs incurred as a result of the pandemic, such as:

• Ensuring that they continue to pay their staff in line with their expected income in line with the Social Care Staff Support Fund;

• Additional staffing costs such as backfill; and

• Additional infection prevention and control (IPC) and PPE costs”

“Where a care home does submit additional costs to be reimbursed, the provider must ensure they are only supplying costs that are additional, over and above the costs covered by payments made for non-delivered placements and other funding streams such as the UKG Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.”

 

  1. The effect of this changed approach (as now clarified) is that reduced demand / occupancy payments are now required to be applied to address reduction in planned income including contribution towards operating costs increased by Covid response. Only extraordinary costs beyond reduced occupancy support are eligible for further support, hence offset is required. This means that only extraordinary costs (PPE, additional staffing, other) in excess of a reduced demand payment for the given period will be paid in addition to the reduced demand payment.

Effectively what is paid is the reduced occupancy payment figure or the extraordinary costs total figure, whichever is the higher.

Angus Council / AHSCP’s KSS panel has decided to apply this to claims for the period beginning 1st May 2021.

  1. We have provided some examples below which we hope will assist providers.

Example 1

Care Home A claims for a reduced occupancy payment of £1,000 for the month of May and for additional costs incurred in responding to Covid as follows:

The reduced occupancy payment exceeds the extraordinary costs total so the payment made would be £1,000 broken down as follows:

 

Example 2

Care Home A claims for a reduced occupancy payment of £1,000 for the month of May and for additional costs incurred in responding to Covid as follows:

Note: SCSSF payments don’t form part of any offset as the provider is due full reimbursement of amounts validly paid under this scheme, net only of SSP.

The reduced occupancy payment exceeds the extraordinary costs (sub-)total so the payment made would be £2,000 broken down as follows:

 

Example 3

Care Home B claims for a reduced occupancy payment of £1,000 for the month of May and for additional costs incurred in responding to Covid as follows:

The extraordinary costs total exceeds the reduced occupancy payment so the payment made would be £4,250 broken down as follows:

 

  1. It is worth emphasising, we feel, that claims should be submitted for the same period of both the reduced occupancy element and the additional costs element, disregarding the day or two either side caused by aligning reduced occupancy claims to AHSCP’s standard 4 week invoicing periods for care home payments. This is to ensure that any offsetting is applied accurately. Ideally claims should be submitted monthly as soon as practicable after the end of the month being claimed for.

As this position reflects national guidance (a) whose application has now been adequately clarified and applied consistently (b) which is now confirmed as continuing in its current form from 1st July to 30th September 2021, we feel that we have to apply it.

How long does the evaluation process take?

The Evaluation Panel meets fortnightly.  We will aim to notify you of the outcome of your application within 14 days.  However, if we need to seek clarification, the 14-day timescale will recommence from the date the clarification has been provided by you.

How do I receive my payment?

Payment will be made on receipt of invoice(s). If your application has been successful you will be advised on the information your invoice should contain and which office to send the invoices to.

Can I apply again?

Yes. For example, you may not know what your ongoing costs will be for PPE. Once you know this you can re-apply using the Excel workbook.

Can I apply for support if I am receiving funding from another source e.g. the Government?

This will depend on what you have claimed for. For example, if you are receiving furlough payments for staff, we will not cover the full cost.

Further information

If you require further information please contact Johanna Hutcheon, Contracts Officer HutcheonJ@angus.gov.uk

Version: 2, 9 September 2021

Appendix 1