Joint Statement

Statement from Cardiff Council, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

 

  • Friday, 03 December 2021

    Vale of Glamorgan



Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan responds to the National Care Crisis

 

What’s happening and how you can help

 

Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan – like the rest of the UK - is currently facing unprecedented demand for health and social care services.


Right now we are seeing a 30% increase in people needing care at home, compared with pre-pandemic numbers.


This huge increase in demand - alongside a UK-wide shortage of care workers and health care staff - is leading to delays in care provision and preventing the timely discharge of patients from hospital settings.

 

Patients who are medically fit are not being discharged from hospital in a timely manner, which is leading to significant bed shortages across hospital sites. This in turn leads to lengthy ambulance waits at our Emergency Unit, which means ambulance crews are unable to respond to 999 calls in the community, so people are waiting longer for ambulances. 

 

Our care providers, who have continued to deliver vital services throughout the pandemic, are now struggling to meet the surge in demand for care and to find the staff to join the sector. All this means we (Cardiff Council, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust) are having to look at different ways to ease the pressure, help the NHS, and provide care for those most in need. 


Health and social care teams are doing everything possible to support people who are well enough to leave hospital but who need ongoing care. Priority is being given to the most vulnerable, and alternative health and care packages are being offered as a short-term measure. More carers and health staff are also being recruited to support people in need. Social Care teams and third-sector partners are also supporting people to avoid hospital admission in the first place so care is received closer to home.


But, right now all of this is still not enough, and so we are calling on you to come forward to join us and to help support the most vulnerable in our communities, at this difficult time. We all know that patients would rather not spend a long time in hospital and long stays can be detrimental as patients may decondition increasing their chance of falls and a loss of independence and confidence.  Spending as little time in hospital as possible is not only better for patients but will also free up vital NHS beds so we can continue to care for those with urgent and acute care needs.  

 

We are asking everyone to consider how they might help

  
If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is medically fit and well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with homecare and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position to support them at home. By helping hospitals to discharge medically-fit patients more quickly, more acute beds will become available for those that need them.  You should only do this if you feel you are able to care for them for a potentially lengthy period of time. 

 

Do you or a family member receive care organised by the Council?


Do you have a relative or loved one who receives care?  Could you help provide care and support? This may free up much-needed care for other vulnerable people who do not have any support. You may be able to claim carers allowance, we can assist you to claim this and other financial help.


Would you consider arranging your own care, rather than using a care agency? Did you know that 650 people in Cardiff and 375 people in the Vale of Glamorgan already employ their own personal assistant to meet their social care needs with a direct payment. Your council can arrange help and support to make this happen, and if you have an assessed need, funding is also available. 


•  Could you become a care worker or volunteer your time to support others? Are you interested in becoming a care worker? Cardiff Council recently-launched the Cardiff Cares Academy, which can offer training and support, and 42 people have enrolled since the service commenced in October. Could you join them and start a new career in care? In the Vale of Glamorgan the Fast Track to Care programme will soon be recruiting new staff for January start dates. If you are thinking about a change in career there has never been a better time to consider working in care. 


Do you have previous experience in care?  Could you return to providing care to help out during this difficult time? Again, the Cardiff Cares Academy and Fast Track to Care programme can help you. You could start your new job within weeks.


Could you volunteer to support an older person in your community?  Doing something as simple as shopping or sitting with someone while their carer has a well-earned break could make such a difference. Just as we did during the height of the pandemic, we are asking everyone who can, to come together and help those most in need.  Both councils are working with a range of third-sector partners to match volunteers with someone who needs support. Join us today.

If you live in Cardiff and think that you can help, contact Cardiff Council’s Advice Line on 029 2087 1071 or visit intoworkcardiff.co.uk or e mail cardiffcaresacademy@cardiff.gov.uk 


Anyone who would like to volunteer in the Vale of Glamorgan should contact Glamorgan Voluntary Services. They will help volunteers find the best placement for them. People can register their interest at www.gvs.wales. Age Concern also has a waiting list of older people in the Vale looking for help. Anyone willing to help with their work in the community should contact Helen.prior@ageconnectscardiff.org.uk or call 02922 400030.


What Else Can You Do To Help?

 

While we are under these extreme pressures we would also ask the public to please help us help you and use the appropriate service by calling CAV24/7 if it is not life or limb threatening, use the NHS 111 Wales online symptom checkers, or access your community pharmacy for minor illnesses and advice. This will again ensure acute settings are able to treat the most unwell patients. 


FINALLY 

Our focus remains on the health wellbeing and care of patients and the local population. Staff in health and social care settings are working tirelessly to support and treat patients.  

 

We appreciate these are testing times for us all and by working together and supporting each other we will get through this. 

 

This is also the time to remind everyone to be kind. Abuse and aggression towards health staff, ambulance workers or social care staff will not be tolerated and this kind of behaviour will not get people seen more quickly. Please remember our staff are also human, they also deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion.

 

Thank you for reading. If you can help, please do so today.