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Care staff shortages affecting services at Nottingham’s day centres for vulnerable users

todayFebruary 15, 2022 1

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A shortage in care staff is affecting Nottingham City Council’s ability to provide day centre services to meet the needs of the population.

The city council now operates three day centres – the Martin Jackaman Centre, Aspley, Spring Meadow Centre, off the A60 London Road, on the edge of The Meadows, and the Acorn Centre, Hyson Green – for adults with specific learning disabilities as well as physical and sensory impairments.

A fourth, the Summerwood Day Centre in Clifton, was closed last year.

The Summerwood Day Centre was shut amid budget constraints and despite service users and residents campaigning to keep it open.

Many in Clifton hit out at the “callous” plans at the time, but the former day centre now faces demolition.

The council says all 17 citizens who were at the centre were transferred to Spring Meadow and have been “receiving the same level of service”.

A scrutiny document states no staff members were made redundant and service users are “happy”, however.



Summerwood Day Centre in Clifton
Summerwood Day Centre in Clifton

And, according to the council, 540 citizens in Nottingham are receiving care and support packages to meet their daytime and evening care needs, with the Martin Jackaman Centre being the most popular with 72 users.

However these services are facing challenges arising from staffing shortages which span the entire care sector in the UK.

This is due to a “reluctance” to work in the the care sector, staff sickness due to Covid, anxiety and stress as well as “Brexit” and “furlough changes”.

There is also a “reluctance of some staff to be vaccinated”, with an open consultation into vaccine mandates for health and social care workers taking place.

According to the council 82 percent of the wider care market is vaccinated.

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The turnover rate is approximately 30 percent of workers every year and this, the council says, “is now affecting our ability to provide community based services to meet assessed eligible needs”.

A scrutiny committee will discuss the challenges on Thursday, February 17.

Documents say: “Day centre provision is usually based on a high volume, low cost model, which relies on providers having a volume of citizens accessing the service.

“During and post Covid, providers are unable to support the same numbers of citizens they once did at any given time. Should this situation persist it may impact on the business models of some providers.

“Covid related guidance for day centres has not been recently updated.”

Such staffing problems are being experienced in respite care sector and the NHS, too, with some “reduced to tears” due to the pressures.

It is making dealing with a significant backlog increasingly difficult, with almost 100,000 people waiting for treatment for NHS services in Nottinghamshire.

The council adds: “Over recent years respite provision has been secured through short term placements in existing residential services which are made under the existing contract for residential and nursing care.

“More recently providers have stated that, due to the risks associated with Covid, they are now increasingly reluctant to allow short term placements on a regular basis within their homes. Current issues with recruitment have also made this situation more demanding having created a general lack of specialist provision in the local area.

“Although there is internal provision within Nottingham city, it is not able to meet the needs of all citizens requiring respite.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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