Calderdale care homes facing manager problems as many set to leave after year of Covid
Measures are being put in place to ensure there are enough experienced registered managers available to service Calderdale’s care homes as a number are retiring, or resigning and moving onto new areas of work.
Considering a report on the social care market post pandemic, councillors heard there was a small but significant number of experienced registered managers deciding to do this.
This could be an early indication of fatigue and the emotional impact that the last year has had upon them, members of Calderdale Council’s Adults, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board heard.
Coun Ashley Evans (Lib Dem, Warley) said this was understandable given the issues they had faced during the pandemic and he also asked if there had been any provider failures during the pandemic.
Director of Adults, Health and Social Care Services, Iain Baines, said the council had a long standing approach to try and promote and support registered managers through the Future Focus Framework leadership programme, and some work was being done regionally.
Presenting the report, Assistant Director for Commissioning and Partnerships, Jill Holbert, said the programme has already seen two cohorts of 12 people successfully completing the programme, developing skills helping achieve improved Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings.
Ms Holbert there was a very diverse social care market in Calderdale, ranging from national and local to third sector providers, and the pandemic has had a significant impact on these.
Working closely in partnership with the NHS and Clinical Commissioning Group helped minimise disruption the pandemic had caused, she said, also proving effective in managing the risk of provider failure.
COVID-19 rates in care homes were lower than in other areas in the Yorkshire and Humber region, she said.
The bed base has reduced by 89 beds post-pandemic, but the number of vacancies pre and post pandemic have remained unchanged and occupancy levels has reduced only by 1.2 per cent due to a decline in residential provision that was already occurring pre the pandemic, said Ms Holbert.
Coun Colin Hutchinson (Lab, Skircoat) wondered whether daily reports during the pandemic had proved valuable enough to continue afterwards regardless of specific pandemic funding.
Ms Holbert said the directorate had been able to “stop and start” including redeployment of staff to undertake this during the different phases of the pandemic and could continue to do that.
Coun Steven Leigh (Con, Ryburn) asked if payments, a lot of Government money, made to providers had been sufficient.
Ms Holbert said the money had been significant, with strict criteria on how it could be spent.
However, Mr Baines said the issue of a long term funding arrangement for adult social care still had to be resolved.