Dedicated staff pull together to help people in need
SOCIAL care staff across Carmarthenshire have been going out of their way to maintain services to older people and those with learning or physical disabilities during today’s heavy snowfall.
Whilst the authority took an early decision to suspend day care services today due to concerns over transport safety - domiciliary, residential and respite care services have gone ahead as planned, thanks to the efforts being made by staff.
In several residential homes across Carmarthenshire, staff are planning to bed down for the night in order to provide shift cover through the night and tomorrow morning, many working around the clock to cover shifts for colleagues who either cannot get to work or who are lending a hand elsewhere.
Throughout the county, services have been working together to help each other – social care staff and volunteers have been providing assistance to the health board to help transport staff get to hospitals; learning disability respite care staff have volunteered to work alongside the WRVS to help deliver Meals on Wheels, and domiciliary care staff have been walking for miles on foot to reach service users in rural locations.
Bruce McLernon, director of social care, health and housing, said: “I have heard many stories today of how staff are pulling together for the sake of the people they care for. One in particular was of a carer that was walking from Betws to Llandybie to get to a service user, before being picked up along the way.
“They are showing a complete dedication to their jobs, and they should know that we are very grateful.”
Social care managers have been planning ahead for adverse weather for some time, organising to have 4x4 vehicles on standby, and making use of volunteers who are willing to lend a hand.
Gareth John, head of mental health and learning disabilities, said: “Staff at our Tir Eynon respite home in Bigyn, Llanelli, have been particularly helpful – many of them are working round-the-clock shifts and sleeping in overnight to cover colleagues. They are also making relay runs to get medication in, as our location on top of a steep hill is making things quite difficult for us.”
Cllr Pat Jones, executive board member for health and social care, added: “Our carers do a fantastic job 24-hours a day all year round, but it’s at times like this that you can really appreciate the commitment they have for caring. We are very grateful to every member of staff for helping to maintain services, whether they are the managers co-ordinating efforts or the staff on the ground. Together, we are providing an excellent service to people in need.”