Leading care home provider says council Covid-19 support “adds insult to injury”

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Roy Young (left) and former Sheffield Lord Mayor, Councillor Talib Hussain

A leading care home provider says the level of Sheffield City Council’s additional Covid-19 support offered a last week “adds insult to injury” and shows “complete and utter disrespect to the city’s minimum wage care workers who are risking their lives on a daily basis just to come to work”.

Silver Healthcare – which employs over 60 staff in Sheffield – is now demanding to know why homes across the city have only been offered a 5% increase in fee levels by the council when Central Government has provided funding for a 10% uplift as part of their £1.6bn funding package to local authorities.

Managing Director Roy Young argues that Sheffield care homes are already woefully underfunded compared to other areas of the country.
This is in addition to Care England recently demanding a 15% increase in fees to help homes across the country through this unprecedented period – an increase which would still see Sheffield lagging way behind the normal care fee levels of other nearby regions.

Roy Young said: “Sheffield City Council’s offer to help us meet the biggest crisis in our lifetime is quite frankly insulting. It puts more lives at risk and threatens the future of yet more homes. I want to know where the money is we were promised by Central Government. Can someone from the council please explain why are we only being paid 5%, when the Government was funding it at 10%?

“Sheffield City Council confirmed in written correspondence that their lower figure had been agreed – if so by whom? It certainly wasn’t agreed with care providers.”

Roy Young added: “Across the city different care homes have to operate different models, with some having to remain open to admissions to ensure people have access to the care they need. Unlike some other care homes, we were able to close our doors as early as March 17th . We were left to apply our own safety control measures as testing kits were not provided. We’ve been taking the temperature of all staff and anyone else entering either of the homes. We believe this measure has helped keep the virus at bay.”

Roy Young increased the hourly rate by 21.8% for all his minimum wage care assistants and ancillary staff from the end of March as they continued to work though this unprecedented period to protect the most vulnerable people in society.

“Our staff have been truly amazing”, he added. “They’ve been sleeping in the building, giving up their holidays, working round the clock, and have met these challenging times in a manner that is truly working way above and beyond the call of duty. Now is the time care workers should be valued and given the respect they deserve.”

Silver Healthcare are working with the Sheffield Care Association, families and healthcare professionals to create an online petition which will highlight the long standing injustices the care sector in Sheffield has been suffering. It asks the people of Sheffield to support the campaign on Change.org.uk and give their backing to the frontline heroes of today and, as a result, provide them with the true recognition they deserve.

Thus far there hasn’t been a case of Covid-19 in either of the Silver Healthcare Homes to date – despite the lack of PPE and testing.

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