'Crisis cash' pledge for struggling Lancashire care providers

Organisations providing adult social care in Lancashire which find themselves facing new financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus are set to receive help from Lancashire County Council.

By Paul Faulkner
Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 7:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 7:46 pm

The authority has said that it will cover the “crisis costs” of any direct provider of such services for a period of up to three months.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that no cap has been placed on the amount which could be paid out to an individual organisation, because of the varying size of providers involved in the adult social care sector in Lancashire and the scope of the contacts which they hold with County Hall.

Financial pressures which could be covered by the authority include agency costs incurred as a result of staff sickness or self-isolation. However, organisations will have to approach the county council with a formal request for assistance – and demonstrate that their costs are additional to the normal course of their business.

Lancashire County Council will offer support to care providers during the coronavirus pandemic

Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver said that the authority has “a vital role in supporting the care market in these very difficult times”.

“If direct care providers, such as residential care homes and home care agencies, are experiencing a financial crisis situation, they should contact us.

“Because we have put the council’s finances on a firm footing, together with extra government funding, we have the necessary resources to provide financial help to care providers who find themselves in this position.

“This will help them to deal with the immediate pressures they face and continue to deliver vital services to vulnerable people across our county while the situation continues.”

The move is the first urgent decision to be taken at County Hall since the Covid-19 outbreak forced the cancellation for the foreseeable future of cabinet meetings, where such matters would usually be put to a vote of members.

The urgent decision procedure – which already existed under the authority’s constitution – enables the council leader and relevant cabinet member to make key decisions which are deemed to be unable to wait until the next normal meeting is able to take place.