COVID-19 Five Care Sector Survival Tips

All businesses and workers in the Care Sector are constantly in our thoughts at the moment. We are seeing unsurpassed levels of ordering of PPE equipment and medical supplies as well as laptops for staff to work from home. The other huge challenge for our clients is agency staffing. Due to illness and some workers choosing to take shifts in supermarkets for instance, there are less agency staff available in the sector, which we anticipate will only continue to decline. We are helping our clients any way we can, even offering to make food deliveries to care homes!

Our fear is that without keeping a lid on costs, we will see care providers go under. This obviously has terrible implications for residents, workers or people receiving home care. Therefore, we will be sharing tips regularly on how to get through this difficult time.

  1. Get in touch with HMRC immediately

They have released a package of measures to help businesses survive this period. These include delaying National Insurance payments, stopping business rates, delaying payment of tax bills and grants. It is vital that you call them now, to find out which you are able to receive. Please see the link below for all residential, home care and supported living organisations:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

Call HMRC directly on their dedicated number tel. 0800 0159 559

Releasing liquidity into your business as soon as you can, will ensure you have the funds you need for essentials such as food, medical supplies and staff.

  1. Follow government guidance for the care sector

Please see the current government advice here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance

The CQC made the following announcement 18/03/20:

“Important information on personal protective equipment for the care sector from

Free distribution of fluid repellent facemasks from the pandemic flu stock started yesterday. Every care home and home care provider will be receiving at least 300 facemasks.”

We will continue to provide updates

  1. Have a team meeting with your procurement staff asap

Although this may not seem to be an immediate priority it is vital that costs don’t spiral. Ensure your team are briefed to make sure you’re not being ripped off by opportunistic suppliers. It is still ok to challenge on costs. Why not approach suppliers proactively to get them onside and in a frame of mind to help you as much as they can.

  1. Read our blog on how to reduce agency costs and retain staff

It’s never been more relevant, and all of the advice still applies. Click here to read the blog.

  1. Use this time to show your staff and clients you care

This will increase loyalty in the longer term.  Measures include:

  • weekly emails to all staff with updates on the situation in your business and how it affects them
  • clear policies on sickness pay and for those who need to take time off if the schools close
  • up-to-date information on your company website
  • money advice for those affected.  The Money Saving Expert is particularly helpful:

www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights/

 

If you need any free advice during this time, please do get in touch. Email our MD Christoph Marr if we can help – christoph.marr@marrprocurement.com

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