Mobile team to tackle staffing challenges

Shropshire’s largest independent care provider has launched a new initiative to tackle the quality and cost issues of bringing temporary or agency staff into its homes.

Coverage Care Services is creating its own team of standby (or peripatetic) staff, headed by a dedicated manager, to respond to home staff being on leave or unexpected non-attendances through illness and other issues.

The move will allow it to sidestep the common industry solution of turning to more expensive agency workers to fill gaps at short notice.

Maintaining safe staffing levels is critical for care providers, including Coverage Care, which operates 14 residential and nursing homes throughout Shropshire.

Coverage Care chief executive, David Coull, explained: “There are many very good reasons for us to move in this direction, not least that as a not-for-profit care provider we can ensure our costs are reasonable and predictable, rather than spending valuable resources on agency fees. It also means that the mobile staff we can send in where they are needed are recruited because they are people who share our values and who can benefit from the same continuous development as the staff based at homes.

“There is a concern that agency staff will become more scarce and therefore more expensive as numbers of workers from Europe lessen due to Brexit. Our approach also preempts that issue, which is very important to the people who choose to live with us.”

Newly-appointed peripatetic team manager, Leslie Mason, will oversee a department that is expected to reach upwards of 20 in number, with seven already recruited and more nurses and care staff still being sought to complete the team.

They will work across the organisation’s homes in Shrewsbury, Telford, Bridgnorth, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Newport, Bishop’s Castle and Market Drayton.

Peripatetic team manager for Coverage Care Services, Leslie Mason

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