As the pandemic grows to what would appear to be a critical point, there have been repeated calls for the Government to assist care services with covering the cost of increasing insurance premiums to cover admissions of COVID-positive patients from the NHS and into a care home setting.
The Government has provided additional funding, available until March 2021, to accelerate discharge of COVID-19 positive patients into care homes but this payment relates to improvements in infection control measures and the cost of the placement generally. It doesn’t take into account any increase in insurance premium that arise as a result of the admission. This increase is likely to apply to cover the potential liabilities that may arise from claims being brought in the events of an outbreak and where harm is suffered as a consequence at the care home. Several commentators in the sector have stated that more must be done by the Government to help care homes with this increased cost to enable care homes to responsibly accept patients discharged from hospital with COVID-19 and be reassured that they will be insured if anything adverse should arise. If the capacity of the NHS continues to be placed under pressure for beds, providing additional support to care homes with insurance payments may be an area which the Government should seriously consider.