With the whole of the UK in lock down, Way Ahead Care, like all social care providers, continue our work in supporting the vulnerable living in the community.
We are able to do this due to the dedicated care & support staff that we employ. However, they too are susceptible to coronavirus. At the start of the pandemic care providers had to consider how they would continue to provide services with maybe up to 40% of its staff base absent due to the virus.
Here at Way Ahead Care we have been keeping track of the staff absence in order to understand better how we are managing the service and assess if we need to enter into contingency in order to make best use of the staffing capacity that we have available.
At this point we have 25 members of staff absent and in self-isolation across both operational offices (Taunton and Bath). 25 members of staff represents 12% of the total workforce. This is down from 18% 2 weeks ago.
However this can be broken down further as the staff teams in Taunton and Bath are different sizes.
- 15 members of staff off in Taunton – 10% of that workforce
- 10 members of staff off in Bath – 20% of that workforce
Interestingly, Bath has a higher ‘confirmed cases’ rate as a percentage of population than Somerset too.
Since the start of this pandemic we have seen a steady number of care packages cancel as they understandably don’t want any more people coming to their house then needed. This, along with families not having to attend work, has improved ‘childcare’ situations and care staff have been able to work additional hours – starting at 07:00 rather than 09:00 for example.
The reduction in the care needing to be provided and increase in the hours staff are able to work has essentially cancelled out the lost staffing capacity through coronavirus related absence. As a result we have not needed to enter into contingency and consider making adjustments to service delivery.
Government models suggest the peak of the pandemic is likely to hit in the next 2 to 3 weeks so we will keep a close eye on our staffing capacity to ensure we can react during this challenging time.