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Thursday 14 January 2010

Social Care Staff ‘Go The Extra Mile’

Tributes have been paid to social care workers who have ‘gone the extra mile’ to maintain services to Cheshire East’s most vulnerable residents during the prolonged cold spell.

Stories continue to emerge of Council staff and external care providers going above and beyond the call of duty to keep people with disabilities and older people safe, warm and well fed.

Despite plummeting temperatures and the threat of snow and ice, they have continued to deliver essential services such as home care and meals on wheels.

Following an evening of heavy snowfall, staff at Heather Brae in Congleton, which supports people with learning disabilities, spent the night at the Council-run centre to ensure the morning shifts were covered.

Meanwhile, members of the hospital social work team in Macclesfield worked on the wards to cover for health colleagues who could not travel into work.

Across Cheshire East, staff with 4x4 vehicles have offered to drive care workers to the homes of service users where snow and ice have made roads impassable to other vehicles.

Staff from the Council’s hot meals provider Sodexho left their vehicles behind and delivered on foot where road conditions were treacherous.

On days when some staff have been unable to travel into work, colleagues have covered their shifts or worked extra hours to ensure that no service was disrupted through lack of staff.

Councillor Roland Domleo, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Adult Social Care, said: “Our care staff do a tremendous job all year round and their magnificent response to the challenges of the past week has demonstrated what an enormous credit they are to Cheshire East.

“They have gone the extra mile – sometimes literally – to maintain services to our most vulnerable residents throughout the most extreme period of wintry weather in 30 years.

“When the weather has prevented us from operating non-essential services such as day centres, our staff have regularly updated service users and made alternative arrangements wherever possible.

“Our services have to focus on the people with the greatest needs and we are grateful to the carers, family members, friends and neighbours who have stepped in to provide meals and social contact to our less vulnerable service users.

“My sincere thanks go to all care providers in Cheshire East for their exceptional commitment and resourcefulness –they have shown how much they care.”

Councillor Domleo added: “As the cold snap continues, I would like to take this opportunity to remind people to remain vigilant to ensure that elderly and vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours stay safe and warm.”

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