Staff flexibility praised as Day Services remobilise
Published: Tuesday, 20 September 2022
Day Services are nearing the completion of remobilisation in South Lanarkshire.
In the early stage of the pandemic, local authority building-based Day Services (or Day Care) were suspended nationally. Recognising the huge challenges for people who use Day Services and their families and carers, an innovative ‘outreach’ service – deploying the service’s staff to support people within their own homes and communities – was rapidly established as part of South Lanarkshire‘s pandemic response.
Today, members of South Lanarkshire Integration Joint Board (IJB) heard how building-based supports have been gradually increasing as part of the careful remobilisation of local services. Many service users have received a blended model of provision, receiving both building-based and outreach support, whilst others have had one or the other type of service. As part of ongoing work to remobilise local services the process of stepping down that temporary outreach service is now moving into its final stages. It is planned that the majority of those hours of care currently still provided within the outreach service will be repatriated into facilities across South Lanarkshire by the end of November 2022.
At the IJB’s meeting, held this morning, the Director of Health and Social Care for South Lanarkshire praised the Service’s registered managers and teams, alongside thanking service users and their families for their continued support. “Our Day Care teams reinvented their provision to ensure people who have care needs or are at risk of isolation – and their carers – could continue to receive vital support throughout the pandemic,” said Soumen Sengupta.
He added, “I recognise that this has been a particularly challenging time for service users, their families and carers, and have very much appreciated the patience and kind words that so many of them have expressed to our staff.
“We will remain in close dialogue with all service users through this important, final phase and will work with individuals to take into account specific circumstances wherever possible.”
Mr Sengupta cautioned: “As is true across Scotland, all of our health and social care services are facing significant workforce challenges - and that includes our Day Service teams.
“This then inevitably continues to determine the level of service we are able to deliver.
“Considerable efforts are ongoing to fill vacant posts in order to further enhance capacity – recognising that unfortunately there is no immediate or easy local solution to this challenge.
“The public can be assured that we will continue to ensure that the level of Day Services we provide will be appropriate to the level of staffing available in accordance with national standards and compliance with registration requirements.”
Chair of the South Lanarkshire Integration Joint Board, Lesley McDonald said: “Quality and safety have been central to our approach to remobilisation across all services – and that has been reflected in the careful and conscientious work that Day Services staff continue to do on our behalf.
“These are difficult times for health and social care services – for the staff who deliver them and all of us who use them – and so I would like to express my thanks to members of local communities for their continued forbearance.”
Councillor Joe Fagan, Leader of South Lanarkshire Council added: “I very much welcome the considerable work that is being undertaken by senior officers to remobilise local Day Services. The dedication of the registered managers and their Day Service teams to compassionate care has been exceptional, continues to be unwavering and is hugely appreciated.
“Remobilising day services will be challenging, given ongoing staffing pressures, but it is a priority for South Lanarkshire Council and we intend to see it through.”
• Papers from South Lanarkshire Integration Joint Board, 20 September, can be found here: