Number of care staff slashed for savings
A MASSIVE 183 jobs have been shed in Suffolk's care service in just six months, The Evening Star can reveal. Between April and the end of September this year a total of 185 people started working in care for the county council but 368 left - of which three were redundancies.
A MASSIVE 183 jobs have been shed in Suffolk's care service in just six months, The Evening Star can reveal.
Between April and the end of September this year a total of 185 people started working in care for the county council but 368 left - of which three were redundancies.
The council's adult care service provides home and day care for the elderly and vulnerable in Suffolk.
Last week The Evening Star reported that more people will have to pay for care from April next year after a controversial charging shake-up was given the go-ahead.
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Details of the extent of the current workforce cutback are revealed in a report that will go before county councillors next Thursday.
It reveals that the service has maintained “downward pressure” on staffing levels based on its “vacancy management policy” brought in two years ago.
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The report states: “Posts that are classified as 'business critical' are fast tracked and quickly recruited to, whilst the other posts are rigorously tested and challenged.
“This approach has lead to a sustained reduction in the workforce and hence pay bill.”
Graham Newman, responsible for adult care services at Suffolk County Council, said the service's budget was under increasing pressure while at the same time there was an increasing demand for care due to an ageing population.
He added that some of the money saved through not replacing staff was being spent on “outsourcing” certain aspects of the service to get better value for money.
Meanwhile a proportion goes towards annual budget savings that have to be made.
Cllr Newman said: “We are trying to make ourselves as efficient as we can, make better use of technology to give better service for the least money so there is enough money to go round to meet the considerable demand.
“We are working with partners and the independent sector to get the best quality and value for the money we spend.”
In total more than 3,000 staff are employed to deliver adult care services by Suffolk County Council.
Factfile - Ins and outs in adult care services
Starters Leavers Change
April 2007 25 56 -31
May 2007 27 53 -26
June 2007 32 62 -30
July 2007 37 81 -44
August 2007 32 64 -32
September 2007 32 52 -20
Total for period 185 368 -183