Home care workers in Staffordshire are to be offered extra support and loyalty bonuses as part of plans to help retain and recruit staff this winter.

Staffordshire County Council and the NHS have drawn up the plans to help tackle staff shortages over the coming months.

As part of the new support package, home care providers will be able to apply for additional funding for staff retention activities, including bonuses where appropriate.

Other initiatives include recruitment campaigns, additional funding for providers, increasing digitisation to improve scheduling, reduce travel time and cutting paperwork.

Cllr Julia Jessel, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for health and care, said:

Cllr Julia Jessel

“Our care workers do a fantastic job helping people remain in their homes and supporting them when they are discharged from hospital.

“There is, however, a national shortage of home care staff, and we are working with our NHS partners to attract and keep more staff in these dedicated roles.

“As well as a recruitment drive, here in Staffordshire the county council and the NHS are giving the home care agencies more flexibility to set out staff retention schemes including potential winter loyalty payments.”

Cllr Julia Jessel, Staffordshire County Council

Demand for adult social care in Staffordshire has risen sharply this year, with requests for assessments up 21% on pre-pandemic levels to nearly 1,500 a month.

Marcus Warnes, from the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:

“Carers are often the difference between getting a patient back home and keeping them in hospital – and if we have to keep them in hospital because an appropriate care package is proving difficult to arrange that bed can’t be used by anyone else and things start to grind to a halt.

“Caring is an important profession and we are happy to be supporting social care providers support their workforce.”

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