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Urgent plea for carers in Fife as services are ‘tested like never before’

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is looking for additional support
Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is looking for additional support

Social care bosses in Fife have issued a desperate plea for extra help amid an “unprecedented demand”.

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership has issued a public call for 35 people to take on temporary care roles, with training provided.

The plea was prompted by coronavirus-related staff shortages and increased demand for services.

Nicky Connor, director of the partnership, said it is the first time she has had to make such a plea but she was given no choice after reaching a “critical crossroads”.

A memo asking people to apply for the paid positions was sent to NHS Fife staff and posted on the Fife Voluntary Action website.

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership director Nicky Connor.

The letter reads: “Across the communities of Fife, we have worked hard to maintain the service but now need to do something that we have never had to do before – we need to ask for additional help to enable us to deliver a service to those that are most in need.

“If we were not at a critical crossroads I would not be asking for your help, but the time has come to reach out and request assistance from partners.

“These are rewarding roles working closely with the people of Fife who receive social care services in a home or homely environment.

“We will ensure that anyone who comes forward to help will have the requisite support and relevant training and will be part of a team working in care homes or group homes and/or will undertake visits to provide care at home.

“The need is across Fife and we will be happy to explore this further with anybody that expresses interest.”

What are the roles?

The partnership is looking for 35 people to take on temporary paid roles in care settings.

Thirty will be in care or personal homes, and the other five supporting people with learning disabilities in a group home.

Mandatory training, which will include moving and handling, as well as the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme, will be provided.

Most of the work will be in personal care, including washing, dressing and feeding. People may also be asked to observe and handle residents of group homes.

‘Tested like never before’

The partnership has blamed the worker shortage on Covid.

Ms Connor added: “Fife, like the rest of Scotland, is seeing an unprecedented demand on health and social care services and we are being tested like never before across the whole health and social care system, and this is made more challenging by the impact of Covid.

“We are working extremely hard to maintain services however we now need additional help for a limited period to enable us to deliver services to those most in need and to support the flow of people from hospital to their home or homely setting.

“Whilst we get through this busy period we are seeking a number of people to support social care and we are working closely with our partners and colleagues from the third sector along with progressing recruitment in the care home and care at home service.”

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