Coronavirus: Care homes 'haemorrhaging money' in pandemic

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Image caption, Care North East chairman Keith Gray says an extra 5% barely covers costs of PPE

Care home bosses have said they are "haemorrhaging money" due to the coronavirus crisis with councils failing to fund them adequately.

The Care North East group, which represents 250 homes, said the 12 North East authorities had only offered a 5% funding increase for care places.

It said this would barely cover the costs they incurred for extra personal protective equipment (PPE).

The councils said they had "fought the corner of the care sector" for funds.

The Government has set aside £1.6bn for local councils during the pandemic and care homes say they should be getting more of that money.

Care North East chairman Keith Gray said to qualify for the 5% increase, homes would have to agree to take in Covid-19-positive residents - possibly discharged from hospital - putting others at risk.

The Local Government Association said a 10% increase would be warranted, Mr Gray said.

He added: "The homes are only asking for the basics which would enable them to keep residents and staff safe - but it seems we have just been forgotten.

"No care home is looking to profit from this crisis - the reality is that many homes will be haemorrhaging money - but both the region's local authorities and the clinical care groups don't seem to have any interest in helping our front-line staff."

Speaking on behalf of the 12 local councils, Fiona Brown, chair of the North East Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: "As councils we have fought the corner of the care sector during Covid-19 by lobbying nationally for increased funding, PPE and virus testing for staff.

"This pressure has helped raise the profile nationally of the social care sector and helped secure additional resources.

"All 12 councils are in regular contact with providers in their areas to offer support, guidance and additional resources where needed including increased funding to assist with costs incurred as a result of managing their response to Covid-19."

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