Agenda item

Impact of Covid-19 on The Sustainability of Older People Care Homes In Neath Port Talbot (Verbal Update)


The Head of Adult Services provided Members with a verbal update relating to the impact of Covid-19 on the sustainability of older people care homes in Neath Port Talbot.

It was explained that at this point in time care homes were still functioning between recovery and response mode, and situations in individual care homes changed very regularly; due to this current position, it was difficult for Officers to provide a full, detailed update on the adult care home sector.

Officers confirmed that they would be able to provide a better insight into how this sector could look in the future, including the sustainability of the marketplace, in around 3 months’ time. It was noted that care homes were managing, despite the fact that the Council has had to step in to help with the issue of staff shortages.

Members asked if there were still issues with recruiting staff for care homes. Officers stated that there were still issues, with some homes relying very heavily on agency staff. However, it was explained that the Council was undertaking a piece of work to look at the whole of the care sector workforce in order to try and resolve the current issues at hand. In regards to the domiciliary care market, it was noted that this was in a similar position, and Officers were doing what they could in order to provide support.

The Committee asked for an update in regards to the position of respite care. It was explained that since the start of the pandemic, there had been struggles with providing significant respite care; however, due to the importance of providing carers with a break from caring, the Council had come up with some alternative forms of respite, and now had a number of schemes which could be utilised going forward. It was added that these schemes would be progressed over the next year, as Officers were taking a whole new look at respite and what could be done differently the other side of the pandemic. An example that was provided was that some carers were asking for only a few hours out of their day in order to take some time for themselves; rather than a full day or week. In the cases where families were really struggling, it was noted that individuals were placed into a residential care home as part of extended care; this wasn’t a form of respite, however it provided the family with a break from caring for a few days. In conclusion, it was stated that respite wasn’t entirely back to how Officers would like; however, it was in a position in which it could be approved, which was something Officers had not been able to do for the past two years.

A discussion took place relating to the assessments of individuals. Members were informed that there should not be a significant hold up with assessments, despite the pressures from the community demand and the hospital demand. Members were encouraged to liaise with Officers if they were aware of issues with individual cases; Officers would then be able to progress the case forward.

Following on from the discussion relating to respite care, it was queried if Officers were looking into the resurrection of the day centres which provided a full day respite. It was confirmed that Officers were looking at all forms of alternative provisions, which were different to what was currently in place for respite; for example the development of independent living hub at B’spoked.