74 people going without care in East Riding as council continues to tackle staffing issues

A total of 74 people are going without care in the East Riding as council efforts to recover services following coronavirus continue.

By Joe Gerrard (Local Democracy Reporting Service)
Friday, 17th June 2022, 11:07 am
East Riding councillors heard the authority was currently not providing 2,333 hours of care, down from a coronavirus pandemic peak of 4,300. Photo submitted
East Riding councillors heard the authority was currently not providing 2,333 hours of care, down from a coronavirus pandemic peak of 4,300. Photo submitted

East Riding councillors heard the authority was currently not providing 2,333 hours of care, down from a coronavirus pandemic peak of 4,300.

Adult Services Director Lee Thompson told the Health, Care and Wellbeing Sub-Committee it came as demand for social care continues to rise and cases are becoming more complex.

It comes after East Riding of Yorkshire Council set aside £4million to pay carers an extra £1 an hour to help attract recruits following an exodus of staff from the sector.

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Mr Thompson said that while some new recruits were being attracted to the sector the increase was still struggling to match salaries in other sectors like retail.

Interim Adult Social Services Director Gill Vickers told the council’s cabinet in November that the East Riding was facing a perfect storm in social care staffing.

Ms Vickers said structural issues plaguing the sector across the UK were exacerbated in the East Riding by an ageing workforce and wages that could not compete with other industries.

The cabinet later brought forward a minimum wage hike from April to last December to stem the tide of carers leaving for better-paid jobs in retail and elsewhere.

Mr Thompson told the Health, Care and Wellbeing Sub-Committee providers were reporting that recruitment was starting to pick up.

Councillors heard the 74 people not getting care was down from 163 during the pandemic.

He added care homes now had an average occupancy rate of 90 per cent, up from a low of 81 per cent during the pandemic, which showed further signs of recovery.

Councillors also heard the number of outbreaks in care homes had subsided to 14 at the latest count on Monday, June 13.

The number of outbreaks is down from 42 during the Omicron coronavirus wave but up from none in recent weeks.

The director said: “We continue to support people when we cannot meet our statutory responsibility to provide care.

“The situation with home care is slowly improving and we’re seeing some potential for the tide to turn.

“The number of hours we can’t provide currently is down by 50 per cent from its worst position.

“But there’s still 74 people who don’t have any care and support other than from their families or friends.

“Providers are now telling us they’re slowing seeing signs of recruitment.

“That’s despite the issue of people leaving the sector to get better paid jobs.

“We need to find solutions for the 2,333 hours were not providing and also to meet future demand.

“We’re working to make sure people have the motivation and aspiration to be in care which is helping to secure additional staff, we’ve got really detailed plans around that.

Care homes are seeing coronavirus infection rates reduce since Omicron, they are using a common-sense approach to reduce risk and remain in contact with public health.

“Some of the higher occupancy of care homes is from hospital patients being discharged to them as an alternative to being sent to their homes.

“We’re not out of the woods yet but there are signs of green shoots.”