CARMARTHENSHIRE’S statutory director of social services has described the impact of national social care pressures locally and the significant efforts underway to manage demand.
Jake Morgan, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Director of Communities, has presented a report to the council’s Cabinet explaining the challenges and risks being faced at a time when pressure on recruitment across Wales has impacted significantly on the delivery of social care.
His report notes that although the greatest pressure is in delivering services to older people, there are also challenges in delivery of care for adults with mental health and learning disabilities and for children requiring care.
At present, there are more people than ever waiting for a homecare package either in the community or in hospital.
The residential care home sector is described as being ‘stretched but stable’, and although also affected by staffing issues the biggest impact is said to be caused by Covid-19 guidance – at present a third of homes in Carmarthenshire are currently unable to take new admissions because of enhanced restrictions.
A range of measures have been undertaken to manage the situation – targeted efforts are being made to recruit and retain staff which has started to see applications coming in through a fast-tracked recruitment programme, with longer-term apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities as part of future planning.
Meanwhile those waiting for care are being risk assessed with priority being given to the most vulnerable, and alternative packages being offered as a short-term measure.
Alternative care and ‘step down’ options are being developed with the health board to help improve patient flow.
The report also highlights the need for a long term funding settlement from Welsh Government to transform the way in which social care is delivered.
Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We are doing everything possible to support those who need our help, whilst also supporting the workforce who are doing such a wonderful job under such great pressure.
“The Director’s report sets out a challenging position but should reassure that the situation is being very carefully monitored and managed.”
Read the report and watch an archived webcast of the Cabinet meeting at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales