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Post-Pandemic Boost for Powys Care Homes

A dozen care homes in Powys have been given a vote of confidence, after Powys County Council agreed a two-year contract extension with employee-owned provider Shaw healthcare, to run the homes until May 2024.

In 2019, Cardiff-headquartered Shaw healthcare agreed a lease to operate 12 local authority-owned care homes across the region – including in Newtown, Machynlleth and Ystradgynlais. The care provider also jointly-runs an integrated care facility with Powys Teaching Health Board at Glan Irfon in Builth Wells.

Shaw worked closely with Powys County Council to integrate more than 400 existing staff, following the transfer of the contract from the previous care providers in 2019, with the 12 homes becoming part of the wider Shaw healthcare network. Less than 12 months later, UK care homes were bracing for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which ushered in the most challenging period for the sector in living memory.

Shaw healthcare’s regional director, Cosmin Lemnaru, reflected on what has been an extremely challenging period for staff, residents and the families of people living in care homes:
“The extension of our contract in Powys is testament to the hard work our staff have put in, month after month, during what has been a difficult period for so many people. I cannot describe how hard our teams in Powys worked throughout the pandemic and the pressures it put on them, as well as residents and their families. Despite this, they kept driving forward and did whatever they could to keep residents safe, while maintaining a positive environment within our care communities.

“During the vaccination rollout, all residents and staff in our Powys homes received their first dose by the end of January 2021, several weeks ahead of the Welsh Government’s target.”

New chief executive officer, Russell Brown, who has been key in making employee-ownership a reality, commented:

“Shaw is now the largest employee-owned healthcare company in the UK and we acknowledge that it’s our employees who have enabled us to maintain an excellent level of care, even during the height of the pandemic. This is why the decision to start paying the Real Living Wage to our staff in Powys – and right across the UK – felt like a natural progression, as well as a well-deserved recognition for their dedication and effort.”

Powys County Council’s Head of Commissioning and Partnership – Social Services, Dylan Owen, commented:
“Our contract with Shaw healthcare has been well received and hugely effective for the vulnerable and older people of Powys over the last few years and we welcome the opportunity to extend the contract further and to work in partnership with Shaw to develop our services for the better”.