5 May 2021







Independent Care Sector and the Impact of Covid-19


1.    At our meeting on 4 March, Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire) and co-opted member of the committee, gave us an update. Mike has been involved with social care for over 30 years. He explained, form his perspective, the impact Covid-19 has had on the independent care sector.


2.    Before the pandemic, the sector was facing many challenges:


·         A ‘perfect storm’: rising demand, falling funding, greater inspection, dire staff shortages, rising fees.

·         Care homes closing, homecare contracts being handed back.

·         1.4m people with unmet care need.

·         Up to a quarter of care homes at risk.

·         Social care funding restrictions.

·         Estimated 20,000 staff vacancies on any one day in the England.

·         Increasing difficulty for homecare providers to respond effectively in rural areas.


3.    As a result of the pandemic, care business are having to cope with:


·         Stress on staff/management.

·         Exacerbated staffing shortages.

·         Further financial strain.

·         Difficulties in getting insurance.

·         Fall in morale.

·         Fears for the future for the care sector.

·         Need for social care reform.

·         Reduced occupancy levels resulting from of a lack of confidence and homes not accepting new admissions.


4.    In his view, the whole care sector has survived by a combination of a massive effort by social care staff, excellent partnership working, government support and plain dogged determination. In particular, Mike praised the North Yorkshire County Council’s response.


5.    He shared his personal perspective on what a recovery might look like, and what might secure a more sustainable future for social care. His ideas ranged, for example, from a cap on social care costs, a minimum wage for social care work through to a new model of social care delivery based on catchment areas.


6.    In the months ahead, these insights will help broaden our understanding of how our partners and we respond to the published White Paper Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all.



Extra Care Housing


7.    North Yorkshire has a proud record on Extra Care Housing. We have one of the largest Extra Care programmes in the country, recognised as an exemplar of good practice and effective delivery.


8.    Since 2015/16, the Extra Care programme has generated cashable savings of £1.59m with an additional £1m savings in progress linked to other schemes.


9.    The vision of wanting people to live longer, healthier, independent lives and enable people to make the choices that are right for them remains as relevant now as it was at the outset of the programme.


10.  We are consolidating and building upon the success of previous years, with a new wave of extra care schemes to set the pace for extra care living into the middle of this century. Two of the latest to become active being Fry Court in Great Ayton and Webb Ellis Court in Scarborough. By 2023 the ambition to see Extra Care in all key towns will have been met, the programme will have delivered over 30 schemes and approximately 2000 units of high quality, purpose built accommodation with support.


11.  This has proven to be a well-spent investment with buildings that are well designed, environmentally sustainable and integral to our towns and villages. 


Care Market Update


12.  At our last three meetings, we have looked in detail at the Health and Adult Services directorate’s response to the impact of Covid 19 on the Care Market.


13.  We continue to be impressed at the comprehensive and professional nature of the support and leadership offered by Richard Webb, his management team and both portfolio holders, and the commitment and dedication of the directorate as a whole.


Future work


14.  At our next meeting, we will review:


·         Living Well - experience over the last year and reflections on the impact of the pandemic.

·         Direct Payments - revisiting a review of how NYCC is ensuring that Direct Payments enable more choice and control over the support people receive and how Direct Payments help to meet their social care needs.

·         User participation - how we have worked with user representative groups during the Covid response




2 February 2021