Vacancies continue to cause concern
OCCUPATIONAL therapist vacancies are continuing to cause concern for a Carmarthenshire scrutiny committee.
The council is expected to overspend on social care by £760,000 in 201819 – although this was the position at the end of February – while underspending on occupational therapists by £95,000.
Councillors on the committee have asked for a report about how occupational therapists are recruited by the authority.
Councillor Deryk Cundy described them as a key link between social care and hospitals.
“If we don’t get this right, we’ve got a major problem,” he said.
Councillor Louvain Roberts said she had heard that occupational therapists were moving to work for Swansea Bay University Health Board because it paid more.
Executive board member for social care and health, councillor Jane Tremlett, said she would report back with a position statement on vacancies.
She said the authority recruited graduate social workers from university, ensuring they had a mentor for the first year and a “manageable workload”.
A council officer said the staff underspend, including a small number of social worker vacancies, did not necessarily imply a worsening situation.