Hertfordshire County Council has been hailed as being “head and shoulders” above other local authorities in supporting home care providers through the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking during the Care Virtual Summit last week, Colin Angel, policy director at United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), commended the council for “acting quickly” when delivering government funding to providers.
“I get asked regularly about who the good councils are and Hertfordshire County Council seems to have been head and shoulders above others, not necessarily because they are offering more money, but because they are acting quickly,” he said.
“I think in many instances, getting the available funding out there is almost as important as the total quantity. So I want to commend Hertfordshire and hold them up to other authorities as an example of the possible, which so many of them aren’t achieving.”
Earlier this year, Hertfordshire County Council CEO Owen Mapley outlined examples of how the council has supported providers in a letter to the Minster of Care, Helen Whitely, including the launch of a Provider Hub, a 15% increase in domiciliary care fees and help with PPE distribution and arranging testing.
Also during the Summit, Angel said the home care industry would have been “in a worse position” now, had the UKHCA not agreed on some principles with ADASS and the Local Government Association before coronavirus hit about what the sector would do in the event of a pandemic.
He explained that although there has been a lot of criticism over local authorities’ handling of the crisis, the UKHCA got councils to “wake up” to what was around the corner.
“While not every council followed the LGA and ADASS advice that we agreed on, I think they all did something which prevented a cataclysm at the start of coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
Caption: Abbots Care was recently awarded a reablement contract by Hertfordshire County Council.