Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support arrangements for social care providers

Guidance on financial support for adult social care providers during the coronavirus pandemic.

This document is part of a collection

Process for submitting and reimbursing costs

Evidence to support payments

Integration Authorities and Local Authorities are required to have sufficient evidence before making payments to meet their statutory duties to ensure public money is accounted for, meet audit requirements and provide assurance to Scottish Government. Officers approving any payment have to be assured that they have met these requirements.

Providers will therefore be required to provide evidence to support costs they are submitting for reimbursement. 

Flexibility should be applied wherever possible, for example if a provider provides all of the required information but not on the right form.

The type of evidence required to support each type of payment is set out below.

Payment for additional costs

The provider should:

  • complete any relevant forms to detail the additional costs – the form will be provided by the commissioning authority
  • sign the declaration form (payments cannot be made until forms are signed)
  • provide relevant extracts from ledger details or management accounts to evidence expenditure where required
  • providers should contact their commissioning authority before they make any significant purchase that they intend to seek reimbursement for, to ensure that the purchase can be reimbursed against the categories in Annex A. Similarly, if a provider is in any doubt as to whether a purchase can be reimbursed against the categories in Annex A, they should contact the commissioning authority to discuss

Retrospective reconciliation

When required, retrospective reconciliation should be undertaken transparently and through discussion with providers. Some contractual arrangements already have a requirement for this to be undertaken annually. Where this approach is necessary:

  • an open book approach will be required
  • ledger details or management accounts should be provided
  • agreement to be reached locally regarding the mechanism and timescales for reimbursement or overpayment between Authorities and providers

Timeline for payments

To ensure that payments can continue to be reclaimed through the Financial Performance Return (FPR) (previously Local Mobilisation Plan) mechanism, providers should submit all claims and evidence to the Integration Authority/Local Authority on a monthly basis.

Claims for the period prior to 1 April 2021 should no longer be considered (the deadline for those claims was 30 June 2022).

Providers should submit all claims and supporting evidence for the financial year 2021/22 to the Integration Authorities by 30 September 2022.  Claims for this period will no longer be considered after this date.

Responsibilities of providers and commissioners

Providers must complete a supplier relief form and declaration to confirm they will:

  • ensure that payments are not received that duplicate support
  • consider where changes can be made to the business model to ensure support can continue to be provided
  • continue to employ and pay staff including for sickness or absence due to COVID-19 in line with their expected income (including paying staff who would otherwise receive Statutory Sick Pay or another amount less than their ‘expected income’ when ill or self-isolating due to COVID-19, in line with the social care staff support guidance)
  • ensure sub-contractors are paid
  • agree an open book basis between commissioners and providers where sustainability payments have been made, to ensure there is no duplication of support
  • on request, evidence that monies paid out have been used as intended. Where it has not, monies paid out can be recovered by public bodies
  • work with commissioners to consider any adaptations required to business or support models to ensure they remain sustainable
  • raise any issues in relation to financial sustainability locally to ensure appropriate support can be provided
  • if providers are struggling with the claims processes, they should reach out to their partnerships and/or provider organisations for support

Integration Authorities and Local Authorities will:

  • ensure arrangements are in place to support the social care sector
  • provide a contact detail for providers to ensure they can access support or raise any queries as required. Regular dialogue between providers and commissioners should support good relationships and partnership working
  • ensure fast, regular payments are made to support providers’ cash flow, and improve payment terms where possible
  • ensure any retrospective reconciliation is done transparently and through discussion with providers
  • work collaboratively across areas to share information to prevent duplication for providers
  • provide proactive support to providers and look at their local commissioning arrangements to ensure they remain appropriate
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