Sunday 14 July 2024
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Nottingham

Dozens of posts to be made permanent to support discharge from hospital

Dozens of temporary community care jobs which help discharge Nottinghamshire hospital patients back into the community are being turned into permanent roles.

The move means dozens of staff working as support workers, therapists and care officers will be given fixed posts.

The temporary roles, which are currently filled by temporary council contracts and agency staff, were first approved in December 2021 “in order to support increased numbers of people requiring support to return home after a stay in hospital”.

The authority proposed to make a total of 53 posts permanent past March 2022 – and asked that the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which delivers local hospital and community NHS services, to fund the plans.

The CCG has only agreed to partially fund the new posts.

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Nottinghamshire County Councillors approved the move to spend £1,991,233 on the plans during the Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee on January 24.

It follows national bed shortages in hospitals due to a lack of space in care homes or lack of social care provision across the country.

It means hospital beds are being ‘blocked’ by patients who are well enough to go home – but cannot leave until safe care is in place.

Council reports show the risks in not making the roles permanent would be “that people will remain delayed in hospital longer after they are well enough to return home”, which could lead to hospitals not having enough capacity.

Council documents stated: “Delays leaving hospital and moves into short-term residential care, instead of directly home, means that many people will lose more of their independent living skills and confidence to live at home. In turn this means that more people will require higher levels of support for longer.”

Councillor David Martin (Ashfield Ind) said during the meeting: “You can clearly see from the level of people we are trying to sustain employment for just how important this is.

“It is essential and it saves money in every direction as well. We can’t support this enough because it helps people’s lives when they find themselves in hospital through no fault of their own.”

Councillor Paul Henshaw (Ashfield Ind) said: “My worry is that it is now being partially funded.

“We know there is a problem in recruitment in relation to care workers jobs. How are we going to address that problem in relation to recruitment and retention of support staff?

“Until we address that problem, we might just be kicking a can further down the road.”

Sue Batty Service Director, Ageing Well Community Services at the council, added: “I think it is really positive that we have got a decision on partial funding because it means people will stay in their jobs.

“It is a real credit to our reablement service that they have very few vacancies and turnover. They do retain their staff.”

Councillors unanimously approved the recommendations to establish the temporary posts as full-time.

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