A London-based home care provider is calling for financial support from the government to help services overcome a drop in revenue as clients temporarily cancel their care visits.
Penrose Care, based in Camden, said it has witnessed a “great number” of service users self-isolate with family carers during the coronavirus pandemic, and this has resulted in a “sudden, albeit, temporary” drop in revenue.
Managing director Robert Stephenson-Padron said: “I think the best thing the Chancellor could have done to boost liquidity in the business community would have been to cancel the PAYE payments due in March, and for the next three months or more, for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“This would provide instant liquidity and would prevent us from having to deal with the banks. In some cases, we have seen businesses asking for personal guarantees to access CBIL [Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans], which are counter-productive.
“The government should offer financial support to provide us the liquidity to weather any storm.”
The MD also urged the government to regularly test social care workers and health care staff to confirm whether they have been infected with COVID-19 or are safe to work.
“This would ensure we pull people out of the service if necessary and not isolate workers needlessly,” he said.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove – standing in for Boris Johnson – said on Friday that hundreds of healthcare were expected to be able to access antigen tests over the weekend. The country would see a “dramatic” increase in testing next week, he added.
Stephenson-Padron said revised training guidance was also needed, given that first aid courses with the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance have been cancelled until June 2020, and called for an easy-to-use “central hub” for social care stuff, should care providers run into severe staffing shortages during the pandemic.
Last week, Care England sent out a call to arms for an army of social care workers to support society’s most vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.
The call follows the government’s plea for retired nurses and doctors to return to work with the campaign slogan ‘Your NHS Needs You’.
The independent body said it wants to complete this message with the line “Social Care Need You Too”.
Caption: Penrose Care became one of the first private businesses to be accredited with the Mayor of London’s Good Work Standard in July last year.