A RECRUITMENT campaign starts in January 2020 in the hope of finding more care workers in Powys, to help bring people home from hospitals and care homes in England.

This is the response to a report set to be discussed next Monday, December 16, which reveals that an English NHS body will fund Welsh patient care in Shropshire.

In their Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Winter Pressures Plan, NHS England (NHSE) and NHS Improvement (NHSI) say that they have allocated funds to place Powys patients in Shropshire/Powys border provision.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have confirmed that in the context of the report “Powys” is a geographical area rather than a specific body, but the issue effects both Powys County Council (PCC) and Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB).

The report says: “Powys has been experiencing an acute lack of domiciliary care provision and nursing and residential home provision.

“They have plans to enhance the provision, but this will not bring extra capacity into the system until next year.

“Because of this, NHSI/NHSE have allocated funds to place Powys patients in Shropshire/Powys border provision, and Shropshire Local Authority have been supporting Powys with the transformation of their services.”

PCC Head of Adult  social services commissioning, Dylan Owen, said:  “The council acknowledges that the availability of home care workers across the county – and indeed across the UK – is challenging.

“We are working with care providers to try and increase availability.

“We have held a number of recruitment sessions across the county to recruit more people into the sector and our next one is in Brecon on January 16 at Y Gaer.”

“The Powys Regional Partnership Board has received Winter Pressures money from Welsh Government and whole system plans have been agreed and are progressing to alleviate pressures associated with winter.

“As a part of this, there is an increase of home care availability.

“However, this is only one of the actions we are taking to try and reduce the instances of delayed transfers of care affecting Powys residents.

“We are also improving our systems so that we can establish up to the day information on residential home spare bed capacity as well as reviewing the way we purchase beds in the residential home sector.

“We have also set up a social work team which is working alongside colleagues in the health sector to support people to return home from hospital at the earliest opportunity.

“We are also working to look at a range of creative solutions, including direct payments and technology enabled care, which may be a better solution for some people’s care needs and help speed up return home.

“Our aspirations are that we enable people to return home in a timely manner when they are medically fit and safe to transfer and we are working closely with our colleagues in the NHS to improve the situation for Powys residents.”

PTHB said they agreed with Mr Owen’s response.