A £25 million action plan to deal with the coronavirus crisis was drawn up by Fife’s health and social care chiefs as they prepared for the effects of the pandemic.
Action to move elderly people from hospital to care homes and community settings is alone expected to cost more than £22m, while redeploying vital staff and securing emergency PPE has added to the mounting costs.
The details have been revealed in a paper to be discussed by Fife’s integration joint board on Friday.
While the mobilisation plan may not have to be implemented in its entirety, Fife’s health and social care director Nicky Connor has warned the financial impact of Covid-19 will be significant.
The Scottish Government has provided an initial £3.4m pay-out, which more than covers the costs incurred so far but it is not yet clear whether the full ongoing amount will be covered.
Ms Connor said health and social care services had had to draw up a “large scale response” where critical factors took precedence.
She has praised the workforce for rising to the challenge.
“Staff have been required to work in different ways or in different roles to ensure that critical services are sustained,” she said.
“Staff within health and social care are our greatest asset and what has been and continues to be, achieved in response to covid-19 is highly impressive.”
The Fife Health and Social Care Partnership began the financial year with a £6.55m deficit and Ms Connor said some of the savings identified are now at risk of going unrealised.
The partnership has spent £7.5m on providing care at home to those discharged from hospital, with existing staff asked to work overtime.
Some 75 staff have been redeployed from day and community services to support home care delivery.
An additional £4m was spent on moving people from hospital to care homes, while £1m was needed for emergency respite placements.
Mothballed hospital wards have been reopened, extra community hospital beds made available and accommodation provided for critical staff.
PPE also had to be sourced for more than 2,000 home care, care home and social work staff, at an estimated cost of £500,000.
Ms Connor added: “Achieving this has been dependent on a significant contribution of staff across both health and social care.
“There has also been an incredible community response in Fife which has included many volunteers and support from within communities.”
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