19.1. The Board considered a report providing information on the support provided to Care Homes during the Covid-19 crisis and work the local health and social care system are doing to support people from Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff working in the care sector.
19.2. The Board asked about whether care home agency staff are moving between care home settings despite the Covid-19 risk.
19.3. Samantha Williams, Assistant Director Strategy, Commissioning & Supply Management, explained that part of the conditions of receiving the recent infection control fund money was around restricting the movement of care staff between settings, which is often how agency staff tend to prefer to work. Care homes have been working hard to reduce this work pattern and have had success recently in recruiting additional permanent staff that has reduced the need for agency staff. A further £546 million has been announced today for infection control, which has been welcomed by the Care Home association.
19.4. The Board asked about the financial condition of the care sector.
19.5. Sam Williams explained that the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) is working with the London School of Economics to understand the outlook for the sector. East Sussex County Council is working locally with the Registered Care Association to look at the local picture in terms of rates and vacancy levels both before Covid-19 and what it looks like now. This will be across the whole market, not just those care homes that accept East Sussex County Council clients.
19.6. Julia Rudrum said that the NHS has a robust Sussex-wide programme on safeguarding staff and ensuring risk assessments are undertaken. A Locally commissioned service in primary care is also in place to review and safeguard BAME communities.
19.7. The Board RESOLVED to:
1) note the report; and
2) request that the Hastings Voluntary Action report on The Impact of COVID-19 on the BAME community living in Hastings & St Leonards-on-Sea is circulated for information.