Social enterprises are key organisations in the response to COVID-19.  Indeed many CCGs, local authorities and others are turning to social enterprises for advice regarding their response to vulnerable groups. 

More than 30% of community services, over 50% of OOH and significant  primary care providers are social enterprises and they need better communications and assurances.  They are amongst the group of providers on the true front-line of the coronavirus crisis, whose workforce will be determining  where the vulnerable get their care. The following list of issues disadvantages social enterprises in a system that quite rightly expects them to play their part. It is a compilation of issues sent to SEUK by our members working in this space

Issues

  • Many social enterprises are reporting very poor or no communications  – reliant on CCGs forwarding on emails.  E.g. there have been Regional NHSE/I calls with provider CEOs that missed two large social enterprises in the South East. enterprises are not getting the same level of communication as NHS bodies –  NHSE/I and HEE exclude from their bulletins. They can look on the nhs.uk website but that misses the local added information, interpretation of guidance as a system rather than as an individual organisation.
  • Most don’t  have access to the many CEO whatsapp / support groups available for NHS CEO’s
  • Real concerns about reimbursement – Simon Stevens letter of 17th March did not reassure them  – it said: “Details of reimbursement for any additional services to be procured from the third sector or from independent sector organisations will be issued in due course.”  
  • included in movement of the payment day forward (which will include COVID payments) – this has not been extended to social enterprises. One member reports that their CCG is not treating them the same as a trust who have already received 75%/80% of their reimbursement. Luckily able to absorb some of the costs for now. So real risk to cash flow.  All providers should be treated the same.
  • Some social enterprises are reporting exclusion from the national supply of PPE this distribution happened mainly over the weekend but didn’t receive because not NHS Trusts.  Some now on “the list” but yet to receive.  No training or clarity re deep cleaning – meaning that SEs cant provide as much as could have done. The lack of PPE in the social care world … the Army is delivering to the NHS but soon asking workers to go into sick peoples’ homes.  Must supply to social care workers
  • Excluded from national investment in video apps
  • SEs providing primary care encouraged to hire extra staff ie GP’s but have not had clear communication from the GMC or reimbursement for the salaries incurred or arrangements for medical indemnity.
  • Dental services have not had clear national guidance  no pathways for urgent care – issue for all dental providers. No training or indemnity, cannot diagnose oral cancers as cannot do physical assessment – therefore more pressure onto NHS .
  • Suggesting that ask LA Commissioners to keep paying providers a monthly average based on what was traded over the past 12 weeks (can sort differences later in the year) .. Good to pay all the providers 4 weeks up front .. as cash flow is critical at this time (if fail to pay the staff .. disaster).