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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social-care-rapid-testing-fund/annex-c-grant-conditions
In this determination:
‘an authority’ means an upper tier or unitary local authority identified in Annex B.
‘the department’ means the Department of Health and Social Care
‘grant’ means the amounts set out in the Adult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund Determination 2020/21
‘upper tier and unitary local authorities’ means:
- a county council in England
- a district council in England, other than a council for a district in a county for which there is a county council
- a London borough council
- the Council of the Isles of Scilly
- the Common Council of the City of London
‘Infection Control Fund 2’ means the grant cited in Adult Social Care Extension to Infection Control Grant Determination 2020/21 No. 31/5186
The main purpose of this funding is to support additional rapid testing of staff in care homes, and to support visiting professionals and enable indoors, close contact visiting where possible. This includes adult social care providers with whom the local authority does not have a contract.
Local authorities must ensure that 80% of this grant is allocated to care homes[footnote 1] on a ‘per bed’ basis including to social care providers with whom the local authority does not have existing contracts. This includes residential drug and alcohol services. The department expects this to take no longer than 10 working days.
Measures to be supported
This allocation must be spent by care homes on the following measures only:
Paying for staff costs associated with training and carrying out lateral flow device (LFD) testing, including time taken to:
attend webinars, read online guidance and complete an online competency assessment
explain the full LFD testing process to those being tested, and ensuring that they understand all other infection prevention and control (IPC) measures;
ensure that any LFD tests are completed properly, including overseeing the self-swabbing process, processing tests and logging results
wait for results, if staff are coming in to undertake tests on site prior to their shift
for those care homes that can undertake indoor, close-contact visiting: welcoming visitors, gaining consent and overseeing that personal protective equipment (PPE) is correctly donned
Costs associated with recruiting staff to facilitate increased testing
Costs associated with the creation of a separate testing area where staff and visitors can be tested and wait for their result. This includes the cost of reduced occupancy where this is required to convert a bedroom into a testing area, but only if this is the only option available to the care home
Costs associated with disposal of LFD tests and testing equipment
Conditions to be imposed on care providers
A local authority must ensure that funding which it allocates for a measure described above is allocated on condition that the recipient care provider:
uses it for the measures outlined only
will provide the local authority with a statement certifying that they have spent the funding on those measures for the local authority return due 30 April 2021
if requested to do so will provide the local authority or DHSC with receipts or such other information as they request to evidence that the funding has been so spent. This may include proof that results of LFD tests have been registered
provide DHSC or the local authority with an explanation of any matter relating to funding and its use by the recipient as they think necessary or expedient for the purposes of being assured that the money has been used in an appropriate way in respect of those measures
will return any amounts which are not spent on those measures outlined
is completing the Capacity Tracker regularly (at least weekly), and has committed to doing so for the duration of the grant
The grant must not be used for fee uplifts, expenditure incurred by providers before 2 December or activities for which the local authority has earmarked or allocated expenditure or activities which do not support the purpose of this grant.
The local authority must not make an allocation of this grant to a care home that is not completing the Capacity Tracker regularly (at least weekly). If the care home has not used all or any part of their allocation for the measures outlined, the local authority must take all reasonable steps to recover the money that has not been so used.
Local authorities must make it a condition of the provision of the ‘per beds’ payment that the cost of any specific measures (as outlined) are met by providers on the basis that:
- there is no increase in any relevant rates from the existing rates
- third party charges are paid at the normal market rates
- in no circumstances is any element of profit or mark-up applied to any costs or charges incurred
Local authorities must make it a condition of allocation of funding that care homes must be able to account for all payments funded by this grant and keep appropriate records (such as receipts, and proof that LFD tests have been registered). In so far as a provider does not use the entirety of the ‘per beds’ allocation in pursuit of the measures outlined, any remaining funds must be returned to the local authority. Local authorities must ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to enable them, if necessary, to recover any such overpayments. None of the ‘per beds’ funding is to be used for any purpose other than the measures specified in Annex C.
If a care home in a local authority’s geographical area refuses this funding or is unable to use all of its allocation, the local authority may add unallocated funding to their 20% allocation. If a local authority decides to do this, they must notify the department.
Local authority obligations
Local authorities must use the other 20% of the funding to support the care sector to operationally deliver LFD testing, but this can be allocated at the local authority’s discretion.
To be compliant with the conditions of this fund a recipient local authority must:
make the allocation directly to pay care homes (this includes local authorities who provide care directly, care homes with self-funding residents, and care homes with which local authorities do not have contracts, and residential drug and alcohol services)
report on their spending as outlined in the reporting section below
ensure any support made to a care home is made on condition that the care home is completing the Capacity Tracker regularly (at least weekly), and has committed to doing so for the duration of the grant
ensure that payments to the care home are made on condition that they will repay the money to the local authority if it is not used for the purposes for which it has been provided
provide DHSC with monthly returns on spending to April 2021
provide the department with a statement as per Annex D of Infection Control Fund 2, certifying that that they have spent the funding on those measures by 30 April 2021. Local authorities may submit one statement of assurance for this grant and Infection Control Fund 2, if they so wish.
Requirements on local authorities
A local authority must report on spending on this measure as part of the monthly high-level returns outlined in the Infection Control Fund 2 local authority circular. Information on spending from this grant and spending from Infection Control Fund 2 must be returned at the following points:
26 February 2021, with information on December to January spending of this grant (and October to January spending of Infection Control Fund 2 if applicable)
31 March 2021, with information on December to February spending of this grant (and October to February spending of Infection Control Fund 2 if applicable)
30 April 2021, with information on December to March spending of this grant (and October to March spending of Infection Control Fund 2 if applicable)
We expect local authorities to fully allocate this grant within 10 working days to enable providers to fully spend the grant before the fund closes on 31 March 2021. We will not penalise local authorities that fail to do this.
At the close of the fund, the authority’s Chief Executive (or the authority’s S151 Officer) and the Director of Adult Social Services must certify that, to the best of their knowledge, the amounts shown on the supporting reports relate to eligible expenditure and that the grant has been used for the purposes intended, as set out in this Determination. Chief Executives have been provided with a statement of assurance for their signature in Annex D. Local authorities may submit one statement of assurance for this grant and Infection Control Fund 2, if they so wish.
Requirements on providers
Care homes, including homes with self-funding residents and homes run by local authorities, will be required to be regularly completing the Capacity Tracker (at least weekly) to be eligible to receive funding via the 80% ‘per beds’/’per user’ allocation. Care homes must also commit to continuing to complete the Capacity Tracker regularly for the duration of the grant.
The local authority must allocate any funding to a provider unless they have met the above conditions, even if this means payments are not made within 10 working days.
Care homes will need to demonstrate that the funding passed to them has been spent in line with the measures outlined above. Those providers who have not fully spent their allocation at the end of the fund (31 March 2021) will be expected to repay any unspent monies.
Care homes are required to provide local authorities with the information needed to complete the monthly returns on their spending at least one week before the deadlines specified above (or as indicated by their local authority).
We do not expect local authorities to routinely require care homes to provide them with receipts or invoices to prove how the funding has been spent. Care homes will, however, need to keep these records and make them available to the local authority or the department if they are required to provide reassurances that the funding has been used in accordance with the grant conditions.
If the information that a local authority receives from a care home at any reporting point gives them concerns that the care home’s spending is not in line with the grant conditions, they should work with the care home to understand their spending, or recover misused funding.
A recipient authority and providers must maintain a sound system of internal financial controls.
If a recipient authority has any grounds for suspecting financial irregularity in the use of any grant paid under this funding agreement, it must notify the department immediately, explain what steps are being taken to investigate the suspicion and keep the department informed about the progress of the investigation. For these purposes ‘financial irregularity’ includes fraud or other impropriety, mismanagement, and the use of grant for purposes other than those for which it was provided.
Breach of conditions and recovery of grant
If the authority fails to comply with any of these conditions, or if any overpayment is made under this grant or any amount is paid in error, the Secretary of State may reduce, suspend or withhold grant payments or require the repayment of the whole or any part of the grant monies paid, as may be determined by the Secretary of State and notified in writing to the authority. Such sum as has been notified will immediately become repayable to the Secretary of State who may set off the sum against any future amount due to the authority from central government. An authority must submit monthly returns specifying how the grant has been spent.
The template can be found at Annex E of the extension to the Infection Control Fund. These must be submitted to the department who may review the returns on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health and Care.
As per the Care Quality Commission Care Directory. Residential drug and alcohol services are not categorised as ‘care homes’ within the directory, so we have indicated the relevant bed numbers we have used for these services in the allocations table. ↩