Southampton City Council has secured £550K of Government funding to continue to support the city’s most vulnerable people.
The funding, from the Workforce Capacity Fund for Adult Social Care will help towards the continued support of the city’s care homes and home care services through the pressures of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It will be spent on training, recruitment and employee morale initiatives.
The care sector has been one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this in partnership with the NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), we have developed a Care Home Oversight Group. Over the last year the group has developed and put in place a range of supportive measures such as action planning, training and digital support so the city’s 60 care and nursing homes can meet the major challenges presented by the pandemic and deliver the best care possible, to ensure that all our residents are supported to be healthy and independent.
The current needs within the city’s homes were reflected in the funding bid and will continue to support the work of the Care Home Oversight Group, and ongoing work with home care providers.
The new funding will help to support:
- An introductory course to adult social care for individuals known to Job Centre Plus. The course will be run by Itchen College and will work with 60 people to get them ready to work in the care sector, so their applications to care providers can be fast-tracked.
- Extra staff capacity to support people leaving hospitals and to give short term help to providers who have the greatest staff shortages.
- Coaching and training for Managers of care homes to enable them to share their experiences and provide a safe space to talk through issues faced.
- Free counselling support for care staff who have been working on the frontline throughout the pandemic.
- Initiatives to recruit and train new staff and equip non-care staff to undertake care roles
- Better travel for staff without Transport – including providing e-bikes to help staff to get to and from work, and for home care workers to get to and from care appointments more easily.
- Providing Blue Light discount cards to employees in the health and care industry to show our appreciation for the efforts made during the past year.
The funding is for initiatives between January and end of March 2021.
Naval Nagpal, Managing Director of Shivron Care Home LTD, has been working closely with Southampton City Council and NHS Southampton CCG Care Home Oversight Group since its inception, he said:
“The council and NHS CCG team that have supported us over the past year have truly excelled with well anticipated and immediate action plans to safeguard those most vulnerable and addressing issues as they arise. In this way the deadly waves of the COVID-19 pandemic have been successfully stemmed with urgent and co-ordinated guidance and assistance to all providers of care and eventually their residents. The new funding and initiatives bring a breath of innovation in care that is greatly needed with fully enabled and trained staff to expedite placements, with a career path in sight, it is most definitely a ‘high five’ from care providers and residents.”
Ricky Rossiter is Director of Integrated Services at Social Care in Action (SCiA) Group, which provides support to many older people in the Southampton community in partnership with Southampton City Council, said:
“The grant funding will allow us to increase the number of people that are working for us through the use of increased advertising but also in collaboration with Itchen College we are supporting people wishing to join social care for the first time and helping them to join our career pathway. Without the support of this additional funding opportunity, a collaboration such as this simply would not have been available.
In addition, one of our charities, Options Counselling, has received some funding to support care workers across Southampton who have been affected either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus, this work will make a huge difference to the wellbeing of care staff in our city.”
Catherine Brun, Carer at Buttercup House, a Dementia Residential Care Home in Woolston, Southampton, said:
“The training sessions provided by Southampton City Council and the NHS Southampton City CCG are a fantastic tool to keep care staff up to date and motivated (especially during the pandemic). The training webinars make me feel energised and ready to provide excellent care to our vulnerable residents, so it is great to hear that the funding will offer more of this support.”
Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care, said:
“Southampton City Council in partnership with the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are committed to maintaining good quality, sustainable care, home care and nursing home provision across the city, to support our older and vulnerable residents to live well and age well. This funding will help to continue to build upon the tailored support we have been providing care homes across the city over this past challenging year.
“We call on the Government to continue to provide the additional support and funding that the social care sector needs as we make our way into the next stage of the pandemic. Otherwise, this pandemic could turn into a social care crisis with many local authorities left struggling to pick up the bill and support their vulnerable residents.”
For more information about care in our city, visit: www.southampton.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid19/help/care-homes/