Whilst DCC cannot give legal or HR advice to providers on this or any other issue and such providers must take independent legal advice if they feel they require certainty on any such issue, the following comments can be made in response to the queries below:
I have just been trying to understand the grant conditions that come with this funding and would it be possible to arrange a teams meeting with yourselves to run through this so we completely understand what the fund is for and exactly how you perceive it being spent?
There is a webinar on 4 November 2020 at 2pm to discuss the Fund and aid understanding.
In addition, individual market sector meeting are being planned.
In the meantime please send any individual queries please send them through to:
I am querying what certifying information you are going to need for each reporting point?
The reporting form will be made available asap and will be included in the Webinar on 4 November 2020.
Will unregulated supported housing get the second Infection Control Grant like the first one or is it just regulated services?
DCC has yet to determine how the remaining 20% of the Fund will be spend. Please check the PEN for updates.
Looking at the email from DCC (reminder), I have not received any agreement for the Infection Control Fund to sign. Can you advise me where I can obtain such a document?
If you believe your organisation should have received a Grant Agreement but has not, please contact: email@example.com
I have forwarded your Infection Control Grant Agreement on to our Legal Team and they have advised that, we can’t sign the agreement in the current format because it contains an Indemnity Clause at 8.1.
Please could you arrange for the Indemnity Clause at 8.1 to be removed and the amended agreement be forwarded back to us. We can then arrange for this to be signed.
DCC is not in a position to remove the Indemnity Clause at 8.1. It is the recipient Provider’s decision how to spend the funds to best meet the needs of its service(s) in line with Annex C of Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular, and DCC cannot be held accountable for individual Provider decisions.
Would you be able to tell me the exact calculation of how the amount of grant is calculated?
For Community Care Providers the calculation is based on the number of service users the provider last reported on the CQC Home Care Survey (prior to 09/10/20) x £313.09 per service user. This is the total amount and will be split into two tranches. First tranche to be paid in November 2020 and the second in January 2021.
For care home providers the DHSC allocated £662.97 per CQC regulated bed. This is the total amount per bed and will be split into two tranches, the first tranche will be paid in November 2020 and the second in January 2021.
How do we go about obtaining and evidencing a member of an employee’s household tests results or if they have symptoms of COVID? Surely data protection does not allow us to get evidence of this, which could be open to “misuse” by employees.
We suggest that Providers request written/email confirmation from their employee.
Our worry is, if Part A is the preferred use for the ICG, that staff will take advantage of the wording of the grant conditions and that “symptoms” will allow them to have fully paid days off when they or other household members who have no symptoms of COVID. This will be even more prevalent over the Christmas and New Year period where a “few extra days off” might seem very appealing, especially at full pay. We are struggling with staffing levels already, so do not want to inadvertently fuel this with more absence.
It is for Providers to use the Fund at their discretion in line with Annex C of Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
If we decide that we do not want the ICG due to the worries above, I assume we are not duty bound to pay employees “normal wages” if they are isolating for the reasons stated in the grant conditions. However, if an employee came to us and said that it was our decision not to have the Grant but it was made available, would we then have to pay “normal wages”?
ICG funding can be used for all or one of the six measures and for provider to identify how it can best meet their Infection Control needs. It may be used for wages and DCC would support staff being well remunerated at this challenging time.
Does every provider in Devon need to spend or commit to spending the first amount of money for us to secure the second payment or is it on a per service/home basis?
The second payment being paid is only reliant on a service/home basis spending, its first payment and not at a countywide level.
I am a Supported Living provider. Will I receive payment?
80% of the Infection Control Fund will be passed on directly to CQC registered care providers on a bed basis or number of people in receipt of regulated care (personal care, supported living and extra care housing). Each LA area will be able to determine how the remaining 20% of the fund is spent in line with the grant conditions in due course.
When do I have to send the Grant Agreement issued by DCC back by?
Please return a signed copy of the Grant Agreement to us ASAP and no later than Friday 23 October 2020 to:
Please return a signed copy of the Grant Agreement to us ASAP and no later than Wednesday 28 October 2020 to:
What can I spend the money on?
The activities as described in Annex C of Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
How do I evidence what I have spent the money on?
In line with the Grant determination an authorised person from the Provider is required to certify that the Grant Funding has been spent in accordance with the conditions set out. A return stating this will be required to be submitted to DCC monthly as detailed in the Grant Agreement:
1) 16 November 2020, certifying the amount of spending incurred up to 31 October 2020
2) 21 December 2020, certifying the amount of spending incurred up to 30 November 2020
3) 22 January 2021, certifying the amount of spending incurred up to 31 December 2020
4) 19 February 2021, certifying the amount of spending incurred up to 31 January 2021
5) 24 March 2021, certifying the amount of spending incurred up to 28 February 2021
6) 23 April 2021, together with a statement certifying whether the Funding was spent in its entirety before 31 March 2021
The administrator of the Grant, DCC, is required to ensure that funding has been used for the intended purpose. If a return from a Provider is not received, is deemed insufficient, or the Council is not assured that spending has been used for the intended purpose, then the Council reserves the right to seek further explanation and evidence to support expenditure. Further, the Council reserves the right to instruct its internal audit function to complete further work as required to provide such assurance, which may include an audit of the Provider’s supporting records and accounting records. If spending is found to not be in line with grant conditions, then the grantee will be required to repay funds to the Council.
Examples of evidence would include invoices, receipts and staffing rotas.
What payment will I receive for my home outside of DCC area?
All Local Authorities are responsible for ensuring all care homes in their geographical area receive the funding based on the lists provided by the CQC. You will need to be in contact with each Local Authority where you have a care home.
Restricting staff to certain areas is difficult due to lack of staff. How can the funding support this?
You can use the funding as described in the infection control measures to recruit additional staff. Please contact our Proud to Care team on firstname.lastname@example.org who may be able to support with this.
The restrictions are very tight. Is there any movement on this?
The restrictions are published in Annex C (Grant Conditions) of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
Can this funding be used to address general financial pressures providers might be experiencing?
No. The purpose of this funding is to support adult social care providers to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care settings and support wider workforce resilience. This funding can only be used to support activity outlined in the Grant Agreement.
Can this funding be used to cover costs of activity completed before the Fund was announced?
No. The second round of the Infection Control Fund was announced on 1 October 2020 and cannot be used retrospectively to cover cost incurred before then. It can be used to cover the ongoing costs of activities consistent with those outlined Annex C (Grant Conditions) of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – Round 2: Local Authority circular.
Can expenses be backdated if it would qualify in the future but was already done before the Grant? If so, how far back?
Expenses must meet the activities in Annex C of the Grant circular and can only be backdated to 1 October 2020.
Does the Grant get clawed back where it is allocated for a project but not yet spent e.g. if I spend money on something I think would be good for my staff (e.g. building changing room) but it doesn’t get built due to delays (e.g. planning permission)?
Would I have to complete the payment without the Grant money?
The timeframe within the Grant Agreement is clear that the money is expected to be spent by 31 March 2021.
In order to receive the second instalment, providers will need to be able to demonstrate to Local Authorities that they have realistic plans to spend the funding that are consistent with the conditions of the Fund.
Can you provide a list of proposed expenses you have heard of other providers using the funds for?
Market Sector meetings are being arranged to discuss queries and for providers to share ideas and collaborate. Dates for these will be published on the PEN
There is a webinar on 4 November 2020 at 2pm to discuss the Fund and aid understanding.
What if I spend the money but then the Local Authority disagrees with the selected expense as qualifying for the Grant?
We advise all providers to adhere to the Grant conditions with regards to the infection control measures in Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
We have split our staff into two teams so that 50% of the staff have no contact with the other 50%. This is starting next week. It is increasing our wages bill. Would this be an appropriate item on which to spend the Grant?
Yes, this would be applicable as it is supporting cohorting and zoning strategies. Please see the infection fund conditions in Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
Whilst the Local Authority cannot give legal advice to providers on this or any other issue and such providers must take independent legal advice if they feel they require certainty on any such issue.
A) If providers use the funding as suggested to pay full wages instead of SSP if a staff member is isolating for the period of this Grant, would this create ‘custom and practice’ and hence providers would need to keep paying this once the funding had ended, or could it be time limited?
A letter to the member of staff setting out the arrangements for the payment of full wages instead of SSP being linked expressly to the Grant period and not creating any variation to the usual contractual position of only paying SSP, may be adequate to avoid any ‘custom and practice’ arguments from staff and enable providers to revert to SSP when the Grant monies cease. An independent legal advisor could assist with preparing such a letter if required.
B) If providers did start this payment would they be obliged to back date payments to those staff who have already had to isolate or have been off with COVID-19?
It may be possible to expressly link any payments to the Grant period and, in those circumstances, any backdating would not need to go beyond the date the Grant monies became available to the provider. For the avoidance of doubt, the Grant monies must not be used for any expenditure already incurred by the provider prior to 1 October 2020. Again, should providers wish to use the Grant monies to pay staff at above usual contractual levels during the Grant period, independent legal advice should be sought on how to approach such an arrangement.
Whilst the Local Authority does not accept any liability for reliance upon any of the approaches suggested above, with the input of independent legal advice, it is hoped that these issues should not present as an impediment to using the Grant monies to give full pay to staff who are on sick leave at any point during the Grant period.
Can the Grant be used to pay staff bonuses for their work during COVID-19?
Yes, if this has supported infection control practices such as reducing the use of agency staff and or cohorting/zoning the building to keep staff and residents safe. Please see the infection fund conditions in Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
If we have no COVID-19 positive residents can we still employ additional staff for segregation?
Yes, see the infection fund conditions in Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
– to support active recruitment of additional staff (and volunteers) if they are needed to enable staff to work in only one care home or to work only with an assigned group of residents or only in specified areas of a care home, including by using and paying for staff who have chosen to temporarily return to practice, including those returning through the NHS returners programme. These staff can provide vital additional support to homes and underpin effective infection control while permanent staff are isolating or recovering from COVID-19.
Meeting additional costs associated with restricting workforce movement for infection control purposes. This includes staff who work on a part-time basis for multiple employers or in other care settings, particularly care homes. This includes agency staff (the principle being that the fewer locations that members of staff work in the better).
Can the funding be used for temporary structures or could the Council speed up planning permission?
Yes, see Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular but advice on planning permission will be required.
We have been looking into a portable building for staff to stay in should we need them to so would this be covered under the Grant?
Yes, see Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
We have already spent a considerable sum on infection control. Will this be covered by the Grant?
If the costs meet the infection control measures in Annex C from 1 October 2020 then the answer is ‘yes’.
Under what measure can we claim for additional cleaning costs? Can the funds be used to pay staff additional hours for infection control to carry out additional cleaning?
Please see the Infection Fund conditions in Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
Can we use the Grant to expand the website or leaflets for more recruitment?
Yes, please see the infection fund conditions in Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
Is the 800m euro limit per service or per company?
The 800million euro limit is per legal entity.
Please, could you let us know if these helps are tax free?
Please see the VAT clause in the Grant Agreement for DCC.
DCC acknowledges that the Grant is not considered for any taxable supply for VAT purposes by you to us. No additional amounts in respect of VAT will be payable in addition to the Grant. The Grant made to you is inclusive of VAT where deemed applicable.
Can the funds be withheld if the Grant Agreement is not signed and returned within the deadline?
Yes, in all instances we need a signed agreement.
Do I need to have spent the first tranche by 31 December 2020?
Providers must certify their intention to have spent the first tranche in full by 31 December 2020.
Do I need to spend the monies by 31 March 2021?
Yes, the government terms set out the monies should be spent by 31 March 2021.
Can I use the Grant for capital?
If the spend meets one of the infection control measures, such as a physical or structural change to allow cohorting of staff to individual group of residents or floor/wings including segregation of COVID positive residents or staff, then this is permissible. The provider must certify the expenditure meets one of the criteria in Annex C (schedule 1 of the DCC Grant Agreement).
Can I buy equipment?
If the spend meets one of the infection control measures, this is permissible. The provider must certify the expenditure meets one of the criteria in Annex C (schedule 1 of the DCC Grant Agreement).
Can I buy a vehicle/bike/moped for staff transport?
The provider must consider if this does meet the criteria to reduce staff from using public transport schedule 1 of the DCC Grant Agreement. The provider must certify the investment is meeting this measure and DCC advises any purchase is suitable for and used by the staff group.
Can I buy ICT equipment or broadband?
It is unlikely the purchase of broadband would satisfy one of the infection control measures. However, the provider should consider if ICT equipment does mean staff / residents / service users are able to be cohorted or supports one of the other measures as per schedule 1 of the DCC Grant Agreement. The provider should certify any purchase meets one of these measures.
Are we able to keep funds reserved for potential further wave after 31 March 2021?
No, the Grant is clear that money is required to be spent by 31 March 2021.
We have a care home and a home care agency, we used to use home care staff to supplement the care home. We have had to stop this during COVID but have had to keep paying the home care staff for the loss of time. We have had to add extra staff to the care home. Will this apply?
Please see the infection fund conditions in Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular.
If we are employing extra staff, what happens about their job after 31 March 2021? Are they allowed a 6-month contract and set funding to that for 6months?
The funding currently available ends on 31 March 2021 so the length of the contract is a decision for the provider.
Does this cover recruiting and paying additional staff to ensure that we have safe staffing levels to cover for the staff who are not working due to having to shield?
Please see the infection fund conditions in Annex C of the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund – round 2: Local Authority circular
– to support active recruitment of additional staff (and volunteers) if they are needed to enable staff to work in only one care home or to work only with an assigned group of residents or only in specified areas of a care home, including by using and paying for staff who have chosen to temporarily return to practice, including those returning through the NHS returners programme. These staff can provide vital additional support to homes and underpin effective infection control while permanent staff are isolating or recovering from COVID-19
– steps to limit the number of different people from a homecare agency visiting a particular individual or steps to enable staff to perform the duties of other team members/partner agencies (including, but not limited to, district nurses, physiotherapists or social workers) when visiting to avoid multiple visits to a particular individual
– meeting additional costs associated with restricting workforce movement for infection control purposes. This includes staff who work on a part-time basis for multiple employers or in other care settings, particularly care homes. This includes agency staff (the principle being that the fewer locations that members of staff work in the better)
If we commit to spend the money in a certain way but then end up spending it in a slightly different way, will this cause an issue or is it ok if the expenditure meets the criteria?
If you do have to make a change, and it still meets one of infection control measures, and is evidenced in the monitoring returns, this should be fine.
If we were to accept the Grant in full and in theory didn’t claim for any of it, would it have to go back after March? Is there any interest?
Any remaining funds not spent will be returned to central government. Interest is only added to the fund if there is unlawful use of state aid as in clause 7.2 of the Grant Agreement.
Could Recruitment of an Infection Control Nurse meet the criteria?
You can use the funding as described the infection control measures in Annex C to recruit additional staff.
We have not yet completed the CQC process. Are we still eligible for funding? We do supported living and care in the community.
To be eligible to receive the Infection Control Grant, provision must have been registered with the CQC to provide regulated care and have home care survey prior to the 1 October 2020.
Will you give examples on what I can spend the money on?
DCC are unable to comment on specific spends, however there are examples provided in the Infection Control Guidance. These conditions are detailed in the Grant Agreement and available on the internet.
Service Providers are best placed to make decisions regarding the use of the Grant within the guidelines provided as you know your businesses and how the money may be utilised to best effect. DCC is not so well placed.
Can DCC approve my plans in advance of spending?
Unfortunately, DCC does not have the capacity to approve all proposed spending in advance given the timescales provided.
Grant information, detailed measures and examples of spend
Is the Capacity Tracker ONLY for care homes? We have set up our dom care on the Capacity tracker also? Do we need to do both?
The NECS capacity tracker is for care homes only.
The CQC home care survey is for dom care / community care providers.
I find the capacity tracker really confusing to complete. Is there any guidance?
Please email any queries to email@example.com detailing your query and whether the service is a care home or community based provision. We will then be able to provide appropriate guidance and support.
Do I have to spend the money on all the measures?
No, you can choose one or multiple eligible measures to spend the Grant on.
I don’t know what I will be spending the money on yet. Can I ‘guess’ my spend for each category?
Yes, for November you can allocate what you may think you will be spending on. This can be changed in future reporting as needed.
How do we know how much we are going to spend on staff being off up to 31 March 2020? It could be 1% or 90%.
We recognise this may change. You can adjust on the monthly reporting.
Can you put “No I don’t think I will be spending the whole amount”?
No, please give an approximate amount. We understand that this may vary across the reporting periods.
What’s the PEN?
Provider Engagement Network
Is it the expectation that staff pay for isolation is mandatory spending of the Grant?
No, it is not mandatory.
We have walkers that work on our double up rounds so it is not always possible for them not to car share. With new guidance regarding staff car sharing in relation to the need to wear full PPE this is likely to present some issues. Can we buy a car using the Grant and ensure it meets all of the guidance so staff can safely car share?
If you believe buying a car will reduce the use of public transport, so reducing the likely transfer of infection, and it would work for your staff group in terms of logistics and suitability, then that could be an acceptable way to spend the grant.
Can I just clarify that the monthly return is for the total Grant paid for the service type and we are not having to split our actuals/planned by individual CQC ID locations?
Yes, that is correct.
I have care home and dom care, and used to use spare time between the two but now had to separate. Can I combine the funds into one?
No, the Grants will need to be spent and reported on per service type.
Are you doing further meetings about this Grant?
Yes, further meetings are planned for each sector (care homes, supported living and domiciliary care).
If we spend money on what we genuinely believe supports infection control measures, is there a possibility this could be over-ruled and the money asked to be paid back?
Unless there is a cause for concern DCC has no plans to audit providers at this time. However, please ensure that you are following the measures as stipulated in the guidance.
Can I use the money for PPE?
No, this is not permitted in the Grant terms. PPE is available via Clipper.
Test & Trace: If I pay my staff to self-isolate are they able to claim funding from the Track & Trace Scheme?
The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is available to people in England who have been asked to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. An eligible applicant must be on a low income, unable to work from home and losing income as a result.
The Infection Control Fund (IFC) provides financial support to providers so they can continue to pay their staff their full wages while they are self-isolating according to government guidelines on COVID-19. The fund aims to ensure that care workers do not lose income because they are self-isolating.
Government expect the IFC to be the primary way to support social care workers who need to stay at home and self-isolate. If an individual is receiving their full wage from their employer through the IFC, they will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
For further information please refer to Government Guidance.