Brexit fears as care firms quit council

A dementia care company quit working for a council because it wasn’t paying enough, according to a report.

A second provider encountered "quality issues” after taking on too many clients, and Telford & Wrekin’s remaining contractors are struggling to deal with the increasing demand level.

Council care bosses say they are working hard to make the in-home care sector attractive to new recruits, but fear Brexit could be one of the factors putting applicants off.

In a report before Telford & Wrekin Council’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee, the authors noted that there are approximately 40 in-home carers registered with and providing services for the authority.

They write: "There are challenges with the marketplace, especially around providers being able to recruit and retain quality carers.

"This is, in part, due to low unemployment in the borough and competition for staff with hospitality and retail businesses.

"Sufficiency has been particularly challenging since the end of last winter when one of the larger providers in Borough (sic) took a decision to leave the area citing our low fee rate as a contributory factor, while another suffered quality issues due to taking on too much care.

"This reduction in supply showed the true level of fragility of the domiciliary care market, as remaining providers have not been able to offer carers to deal with the increasing level of demand since then.”

They add that they are working with Shropshire-wide and national agencies to find "different ways of upskilling and training to make care, as a profession, more attractive.”

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Solution

Sarah Dillion, assistant director of adult social care for the council and one of the report’s three co-authors, told Telford and Wrekin’s Health and Adult Care Scrutiny Committee they were trying to make it an "aspirational career” to meet the recruitment challenge.

But she added that they were "unsure” what impact Britain leaving the European Union would have on the problem.

"A large part of the care worker market is, often, people who have moved into the area or country,” she said.

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One solution to the workload and recruitment problem, she said, might be to house dementia patients closer to each other, so carers could be closer to them at all times, with less need for travel.

"A couple of weeks ago I went to see one of the provision centres in Coventry,” she said.

"These have no more than 10 people living together in a floor of a building. Their bedsits come out onto a communal area.

"There’s care on site 24/7, but they don’t necessarily have it individually.

"It improved independence and quality of life, but also their costs.

"I saw people who were at the agitated, wandering stage of dementia, making rudimentary meals – something they wouldn’t necessarilly be able to do in a care home.”




Date: 18 October 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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