Councils are accused of hoarding MILLIONS of pounds of funding meant to help care homes cope with coronavirus crisis

Councils are accused of hoarding MILLIONS of pounds of funding meant to help care homes cope with coronavirus crisis

Councils have been accused of hoarding millions of pounds of funding meant to help care homes cope with coronavirus.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said councils were given £3.2billion for social care but many homes have not seen the money.

The accusation was made yesterday in a two-hour session of the Commons Health and Social Care select committee, which saw ministers lambasted for their handling of the crisis in care homes. 

Prof Green said pandemic planning was inadequate and the Government focused on the NHS while infected patients were discharged into care homes.

He told MPs that, despite promises from ministers, there were still huge issues with testing, with results lost and staff waiting eight to 10 days for results.

MPs heard that while coronavirus deaths in care homes have soared to 15,000 – with some estimates suggesting closer to 22,000 – other countries have much lower figures.

Prof Green said care homes in the UK have struggled, partly because of funding issues. 

He said there was 'no clear audit trail' for money provided from Government for the response. 'In my organisation some of my larger providers might deal with 100 different localities – but 60 per cent of those localities have not come and talked to them, never mind given them money,' he told the committee. 

He called for Government funding to be given directly to care homes, later adding that allocating it via local authorities 'hasn't been successful'.

James Bullion, president at the Association of Directors of Social Services, said the £3.2billion provided by Government has not been sufficient. 

'We got this money in April, here we are now on May 19, you would expect some delay in some areas in getting the money through. 

'But our recent survey of members shows that the money is earmarked for adult social care providers.' 

He added: 'I don't think the £3.2billion allocated to our social care has been enough.'

Prof Green told MPs there would need to be a 'forensic examination' to prevent a crisis in care homes from happening again.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also criticised the Government, revealing yesterday that two friends have died with coronavirus.

He said: 'Not even now are most workers and care home residents being tested.

'We have known about this for more than two months and even today we cannot say we have tested all those who may be at risk. We should have been testing.'

Published on: May 20, 2020 13:58:28

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