Local authorities will receive £1.6bn out of the additional £5bn that has been made available for the NHS. The funding will be un-ringfenced and it will be distributed using a combination of the Adult RNF (£1.4bn) and 13-14 SFA (£200m). Authorities have been informed of these allocations, and grant payments will be made on 3 April 2020. Funding can be used at the local authority’s discretion, but it is expected that it will be used “to help them respond to other coronavirus (COVID-19) pressures across all the services they deliver. This includes increasing support for the adult social care workforce and for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people". The funding can be “used across all services facing pressures".
In addition, “£1.3 billion will be used to enhance the NHS discharge process so patients who no longer need urgent treatment can return home safely and quickly.” Some of this funding will be used for local authority social care services: “The funding will cover the follow-on care costs for adults in social care, or people who need additional support, when they are out of hospital and back in their homes, community settings, or care settings." The purse of the funding is to cut through means testing and disputes between authorities and CCGs about responsibility.
The social care funding includes “additional support for the homeless and rough sleepers, where self-isolation is needed”. This is “on top of the £3.2m emergency fund announced on 17 March”.
Allocations for the Hardship Fund will be made shortly (£500m). They are likely to be made on the basis of working-age council tax support caseload (not confirmed). It will be paid via section 31 grant.
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