Action needed on ‘severe’ lack of Argyll carers

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Social care chiefs must take action in Argyll and Bute to resolve a lack of carers and social workers in the area, the council’s leader has said.

Councillor Robin Currie told a meeting of health and social care officers that the situation was ‘a severe problem’.

He was commenting after Jane Fowler, Argyll and Bute Council’s head of customer support services, detailed how the authority supports young people into a career in care.

The discussion took place during a recent meeting of the area’s health and social care Integration Joint Board (IJB).

Graham Bell, a non-executive member of the IJB, said: ‘It seems to me that the pandemic has been particularly difficult for young people coming into the job market and getting settled.

‘We are going to need a lot of young people coming into services, and I am just wondering what is being done, particularly face-to-face?’

Ms Fowler responded: ‘We’ve had the council ‘grow your own’ programme in place for a while now, and we have a team designing our SVQ programme.

‘We have a dual role, as an employer but also as a facilitator, to start talking about what the opportunities are for working in the public sector.

‘We have taken a lot of information from colleagues at Highlands and Islands Enterprise.’

‘I understand what Jane says, but I am a simple guy and like to say things like it is,’ said Councillor Currie. ‘Simply and practically, we have a severe problem on our hands right now.

‘I have never had email correspondence before the way I have now, regarding the lack of carers and social workers in Argyll and Bute.

‘I would suggest that we, as an IJB, recognise this as a priority, and do whatever it takes to try and resolve it.’