Care homes ‘struggling to fill staff vacancies’ in Calderdale

Filling care staff vacancies is a major challenge to health and social care in Calderdale.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:00 pm

Director of Adults Services and Wellbeing, Iain Baines, at his final meeting of Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board before leaving the authority, said that – with caution – the borough was doing really well across care settings in terms of COVID outbreaks at the moment.

But filling vacant care posts was proving a challenge, he said.

Throughout the pandemic he has given verbal reports to the board to describe the experience of dealing with COVID-19 across the peak of the pandemic.

Director of Adults Services and Wellbeing, Iain Baines

There had been a number of weeks without confirmed outbreaks, although there had been some single cases.

Calderdale was still seeing cases of COVID and seeing emerging outbreaks of norovirus in particular but he had seen West Yorkshire figures and there were more of both in other parts of the region, he said.

“Infection control is still holding strong even though the workforce is generally tired,” said Mr Baines.

Recruiting was however an ongoing concern.

“I still think the major thing we are facing is around the workforce.

“In adult social care we are still finding it challenging to attract people towards care in particular as an area of work,” he said.

Mr Baines said one of his final things as Director was to look at how terms and conditions could be improved for people in posts which were effectively high skill but with low remuneration.

He hoped further proposals would go to Calderdale Council’s Cabinet to see what could be done.

Anna Basford, Director of Transformation and Partnerships at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, agreed the situation with COVID was relatively stable at the moment.

The trust’s priority was addressing backlogs and waiting lists, with people who have been waiting for their treatment for more than two years a priority.

“I think we are on track to achieve that and make further progress through the year.

“It feels more stable,” she said.