Adult care continuing in Cornwall 'despite agency staff deadline'

People who use adult care services in Cornwall are being reassured they will continue despite an impending deadline to cease employing agency workers.

Cornwall Council had voted to stop using agency staff by the end of June.

Families and carers said they were concerned services would be stopped or cut immediately as a result.

But the council said it would continue to use agency staff until permanent care positions were filled. More than 40 posts have been advertised.

'Going to continue'

As part of the council tax setting process in February, councillors agreed not to employ consultants and agency staff by 30 June in order to save money.

Many care centres use a significant proportion of workers recruited from agencies.

Parents and carers said they were only informed last week new staff were being sought to maintain services, having been concerned about possible changes or closures for weeks or months.

Bernice Lawson, who has a 46-year-old son with learning disabilities, said: "They have no idea what upset they are causing by not telling people the true situation.

"They're more interested in budgets than actual people. They should be more caring."

Judith Haycock, cabinet member for adult care, said the Liberal Democrat-Independent-led authority was "definitely going to be replacing agency staff with permanent staff".

She said: "We are going to be able to continue after 30 June.

"There is no way we would be taking away agency staff unless there were permanent staff and we knew the service was safe."

The council said it had been working on a recruitment drive over the last few months to replace the agency workers with fully employed staff so it could provide what it called a sustainable service in the future.

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