Cost Recovery Workshop for Service Managers – 21st July

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team has been providing support to CEOs and Boards through their Finance Network Meetings. They are now hosting a workshop just for Service Managers on 21st July. Find out full details below.

Age UK’s Financial Governance Team has organised a cost recovery workshop specifically for Service Managers. This workshop will take place on Teams on Thursday 21st July from 11am – 12pm. Find out full details, including how to book your place, below. Please share this update with anyone who has the responsibility for delivering your organisation’s services, so that they can attend.

Age UK’s Financial Governance team has long-supported CEOs, senior Finance staff and trustees of Brand Partners in a wide range of financial governance and management matters, with feedback displaying that these contributions have been well-received.

However, an understanding of some key finance issues amongst other managers within across the Network is equally important. With that in mind, the Financial Governance Team has organised a workshop specifically for Service Managers – i.e. those who have the responsibility for delivering your organisation’s services. That said, if other senior staff or trustees wish to attend, you will be very welcome.

About the Workshop

When a charity is invited to tender to provide a service for its beneficiaries, or when the organisation is considering making changes to an existing charged-for service or applying for grant funding, it is important that the Manager responsible for delivering that service is aware of what it will cost the charity to provide it. It’s equally important for the Service Manager to know that the funds required will be sufficient to cover the costs involved and allow for unforeseen contingencies and a surplus.

As it is always good practice for Managers to continually look for ways to improve both the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of service delivery, it is important to have a full understanding of the financial basis of the service, so that good practice can be applied.

This workshop will take Service Managers through the basic financial considerations required to accurately cost and price a service so that together with Finance colleagues and other managers, they will feel confident that the application for grant funding or a proposed charge to users, will be fair and transparent, and that the provision of that service will represent a good use of the charity’s assets.

Book your place

This workshop will take place on Thursday 21st July, via Teams, will run from 11:00 to 12:00. It will take no longer than an hour and this will allow time for questions and answers. Please encourage your Service Managers and other colleagues who you feel would benefit from attending, to register by emailing John Fox (John.Fox@ageuk.org.uk) so that an invitation to join the workshop can be sent.

We intend to record the event and then to make the recording, and the supporting slide deck, available to the wider network as a Webinar which staff can view at a time convenient to them. However, attendance at a live, interactive event will always provide greater value.

By tailoring a workshop specifically for Service Managers, this is an experimental departure from our normal support approach to Brand Partners. Our aim is to raise awareness and understanding of Full Cost Recovery principles, why this is important, especially in the current challenging operating environment, and to demonstrate how it adds real value for all concerned across your organisations.

Moving Towards the End of Covid Restrictions – Some Considerations for Services

With restrictions now due to lift on 19th July, there is some extra time for Service Managers to consider what approaches we need to take once they are lifted.

With the plan for all remaining restrictions to be lifted from 21st June now rescheduled, many Service Managers may not be thinking too much about things getting back to normal. Although the vaccine rollout continues at a pace across the country, progress is still tempered by the rise of variants of Covid-19. This period of another 4 weeks of restrictions does give us time though to consider what approaches we need to take once they are lifted and full reinstatement of support and activities takes place. Some of these considerations for Services are detailed below, including actions to take after July 19th and information on vaccinations for staff, volunteers, and older people.

Vaccinated staff, volunteers and older people

Perhaps the main consideration is one presented by the vaccination programme itself and that is how to work across groups of staff, volunteers and older people, when for a while yet, not everyone will have been vaccinated and perhaps never will be totally vaccinated, as people may refuse it or decline it for health reasons.

Whatever the result of the Government consultation on whether to make vaccinations obligatory for staff in regulated care services going forward, it is likely that most staff supporting older people across our network will not be obliged by their employer to have a vaccine. It is possible that some Partners may go down this route and run the risk of unfair dismissal claims etc, further down the road, although it might first be worth considering a voluntary, consent-based approach:

It is worth approaching all of your front line staff and volunteers and talking to them about the vaccine – get their views on it and ask if they would be prepared to inform you if they have had it or intend to and whether you can use that information to plan services. Ask their views on supporting people who have not had the vaccine. Similarly, you will need to ask the older people you support in your services the same questions and then begin to create cohorts of staff and older people who are compatible due to their vaccine status and wishes. It is possible that this strategy may mean that some staff are redeployed to other services. How could that be achieved? Does this mean that some services may have to be restricted in the near future?

Post 19th July Considerations

Those looking to hold out until this date and then simply ignore the dilemmas and move straight to full reinstatement of services, should slow down a little and proceed with extreme caution. For now at least, we do not know if the deadline for the lifting of restrictions will be put back even further; it is possible, depending upon the growth of the variants.

Notwithstanding the issue of unvaccinated staff, volunteers or older people, the use of Risk Assessments for Covid-19 are very likely to become a permanent feature of our standard suite of assessments in the future, so keep them going. Similarly, continue to consider the use of PPE in services beyond the full lifting of restrictions, particularly where any personal care or close support for unvaccinated people is involved. PPE is still free to social care services either via the Portal if you are CQC registered or via your Local Authority or Local Resilience Forum if you are not. This will be the case until April 2022, so make the most of it where you can.

Even where the use of PPE might not be considered necessary once restrictions are lifted and most people interacting with each other are vaccinated, we should still place an emphasis on hand hygiene and social distancing where possible, even if just 1m. The thinking at this stage is, we will almost certainly be living with Covid for a very long time, even if we are all vaccinated. Remember too, that even when fully vaccinated, it is possible still to catch the disease and pass it on to others – (see www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination).

The overall message has to be – Proceed with Caution! The vaccination programme certainly reduces the risks, but it does not eradicate them and continuing the Hands, Face, Space messaging where appropriate is strongly advised.

The guidance and risk assessments released in June 2020 on restarting services is still relevant. You can access it here.

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