Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
A key element of Staffordshire County
Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is to
safeguard the most vulnerable people and residents in the County.
We need to ensure that the most serious and urgent needs of
existing service users are always prioritised, so that they do not
become unwell, not only because this is important in its own right
but because it avoids placing an unnecessary additional demand on
the NHS at this time of crisis. As part of this response the Local
Resilience Forum and Staffordshire County Council’s Incident
Management Team, have been planning for how to bolster social care
provision in the event that the market starts to fail, through a
Rapid Response Workforce, known as the iCare Campaign. The
recommendations below support actions that have been and will need
to be taken to ensure suitable social care (especially personal
care) provision can be maximised to support vulnerable people and
residents across Staffordshire, particularly throughout the peak of
the virus via the use of volunteers and new employees sought via
the iCare process.
“Adult social care staff provide personal care to thousands of vulnerable people across Staffordshire. This demand has only increased as the Covid-19 pandemic continues across the country, at the same time as many existing carers need to self-isolate.
People are still receiving care, but we need more carers to help providers of these services care for our vulnerable people and residents and help ease the current pressures on the NHS.
Our iCare campaign encourages local people to sign up to help, but we need to make sure we have all of the relevant safeguards in place. This way, we can ensure that vulnerable residents across the county will still receive care throughout the peak of the virus.”
Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing
Reasons for the Decision – To consider proposals to bolster social care provision in the event that the market starts to fail, through a Rapid Response Workforce, known as the iCare Campaign.
Decision – (a) That, in order to ensure Staffordshire County Council’s approach is aligned with normal CQC guidance as much as possible in these exceptional circumstances, the decision of the Director for Health and Care to use a “self-reference”, known as a Self-Declaration Form, alongside a request for a current/last employer reference (where relevant) and failing that a character reference, when checking suitability of volunteers and new employees sought via the iCare process, be noted. That it also be noted that if there is an urgent need it may be the case that individuals are deployed before external references have been received at Staffordshire County Council’s own risk. A Self-Declaration Form will be used alongside a Self-Disclosure Form detailing any Criminal Convictions as is required when working with vulnerable adults.
(b) That the decision of the Director for Health and Care to pay all iCare volunteers for travel (flat rate 45p per mile) and subsistence (flat rate £5 per day) until the rates for travelling and subsistence to be paid by the Secretary of State under the National Emergency Volunteer Scheme are published, at which time Staffordshire County Council will encourage all volunteers to take this route, be noted.
(c) That the decision of the Director for Health and Care that if Nexxus does not have the capacity to support the rapid onboarding and deployment of large numbers of new employees (50+ per week) then Staffordshire County Council will provide the appropriate support by way of bolstering capacity and resource to enable this to happen, be noted.
(d) That the allocation of a proportion of the addition grant funding received from government, up to a maximum of £6.75m, be approved and be allocated to the budget for the Director for Health and Care to deploy volunteers and new employees as set out in paragraphs 9 & 10 of the report.
(e) That responsibility be delegated to the Director for Health and Care, in conjunction with the Cabinet Member for Heath, Care and Wellbeing and the Director for Corporate Services to develop and implement an additional financial incentive to retain and attract people into the care market (for personal care and in care homes), if elements of the provider market were still to fail despite iCare interventions.
(f) That the earmarking of a proportion of the additional grant funding received from government, up to a maximum of £5m, be approved and be allocated to the budget for the Director of Health and Care to be used as a financial incentive to retain and attract people into the care market (for personal care and care homes), if elements of the provider market were still to fail despite iCare interventions, subject to the requirements of resolution “e” above.
(g) That the Director of Health and Care be requested to provide weekly update reports to the Leader, Cabinet Member for Health and Care and the wider Cabinet.
Note by Clerk: Mr Deaville and Mr Winnington abstained from voting on the above recommendations due to their roles as Directors of NEXUS.
Report author: Darryl Eyers
Publication date: 16/04/2020
Date of decision: 15/04/2020
Decided at meeting: 15/04/2020 - Cabinet
Effective from: 22/04/2020