Urgent appeal for carers to boost borough’s social care workforce

Published Tuesday 11 January 2022 at 16:17

People with caring experience and relevant skills are being targeted in a recruitment drive to boost the social care workforce in Blackburn with Darwen.

Social care services in the borough are currently impacted by high levels of staff absence due to Covid.

Blackburn with Darwen’s current Covid case rate is 2,489/100,000 people – an increase of 67% in the last seven days.

Although the dominant Omicron variant is considered to be much milder than previous Covid variants, staff absence through self-isolation is placing significant pressure on local adult social care services.

These services provide a lifeline to some of our borough’s older and more vulnerable residents.

The additional social care support worker roles will be paid and temporary.

Sayyed Osman MBE, Strategic Director of Adults & Health at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

In Adult Social Care we have already had to review some non-essential services like day centres to prioritise things like home care – helping vulnerable people to get up and dressed in the morning, giving medication, preparing meals and so on.

With the current Omicron wave affecting staff absence and having the biggest impact on our social care services, which are in place to protect our most vulnerable residents, we urgently need to recruit temporary social care support workers to help us keep these essential services running.

Coun Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Adult Services & Prevention, commented:

We are looking for people who have care sector skills and experience who can join us in temporary paid roles. Anyone who has worked in caring roles before, or retired medical professionals, or even someone with experience of caring for a family member, would all be a valued addition to our social care workforce.

Please don’t hesitate to come forward if you feel you have something to offer to support our vulnerable residents.

Coun Jackie Floyd is the Assistant Executive Member for Adult Services & Prevention and also a former nurse. She added:

We know that Blackburn with Darwen is lucky to have so many kind-hearted residents who are quick to help one another out when needed – we’ve seen this throughout the last two years.

This is a chance for them to make a difference at this critical stage of the pandemic when Covid cases rates are rising and our local social care services are feeling the strain.

If you have ever seen the impact of home care on helping older and vulnerable people to stay safe and well, maintain their independence and stay in their own homes for longer, please consider being a part of our social care workforce on a temporary basis.

Initially working alongside an experienced member of staff, social care support worker duties may include:

  • Providing personal care including bathing, toileting, dressing and feeding
  • Supporting service users on social, educational & leisure activities
  • Working within a variety of care/support situations including day service, residential homes, respite service, community, and intermediate care
  • Performing tasks in care plans to support individuals’ health needs such as giving medication.

Relevant training will be provided, together with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

To find out more and apply for these paid temporary roles – some of which may become longer term – visit bit.ly/339PIrN

Council staff in non-critical roles are also being asked to consider being temporarily redeployed into social care roles to help out for the next four weeks.

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