Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has encouraged all its members to engage with their local authorities regarding increased financial pressures as a result of Covid-19. 

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: “We have developed a template letter informed by engagement with Care England members over many weeks cataloguing the sorts of financial issues that they are facing. We hope that it will empower members in their engagements with local commissioners and also help to inform clinical commissioning groups and local authorities of the kinds of challenges that care providers are facing currently”.

Care England said it is “vitally important for care providers to be supported in their response to Covid-19. The health and social care systems are fundamentally intertwined and any response to Covid-19 on a national basis is reliant upon the support of a strong care system which is in turn dependent upon a well informed discussion at local level.” 

It added: “Providers may be facing increased costs from issues such as the National Living Wage, agency fees and a range of operational pressures.”  

In recent weeks, Green has also called on former social care workers to come back to work to help the sector tackle the Covid-19 outbreak. 

In an open letter Green said, like the NHS, “the adult social care sector will require the support of the nation in the coming months if it is to continue to support some of society’s most vulnerable at these most worrying of times. We encourage those who are willing, and able to do so, to join the adult social care workforce.”

Care England is mainly calling upon retired staff with experience in the adult social care sector to take part in this national effort, but has also welcomed those who are not currently working, particularly those who usually work in catering, hospitality or air travel to become part of the social care sector’s efforts to tackle the virus. 

Green said: “If you have previously worked in the social care sector, there has never been a more important time for your skills and knowledge to be reclaimed. Many providers have noted that they already see rising levels of Covid-19-related absences.”

The appeal to retired social care workers and furloughed staff comes as care homes for the elderly have appealed to the government for more Covid-19 testing and personal protective equipment.