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North Yorkshire Introduces Measures to Deal with COVID Effects on Social Care Provision

North Yorkshire County Council has put in place measures to streamline it's decision making process in Adult Social Care in light of the COVID pandemic.

A new Adult Social Care Ethical Decision Making Framework has been approved which seeks to make it simpler and quicker for the authority to make decisions about peoples social care provision in situations where staff shortages or other COVID effects are having an impact on it's services.

Richard Webb is the authority's Director for Health and Adult Services, he says the current COVID pressures have meant some difficult decisions have had to be made in recent weeks.

The temporary changes are being made to help social care services cope with any shortage of staff that might result from the COVID outbreak.

The county council says the Adult Social Care Ethical Decision Making Framework doesn't relieve it of it's legal duties of care but is about supporting staff to make difficult decisions when resources are stretched.

Councillor Gareth Dadd thinks it's a sensible move.

Barry Kahn is the councils  Assistant Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer, says the new frame work is about streamlining the the way decisions are made and isn't about reducing the council's obligations to provide social care services.

The report presented to councillors about the new frame work said:

The council will continue to meet its duties under the Care Act 2014, specifically to meet the
care and support of those who are eligible. This report identifies the decision making
framework that may be needed during times of additional strain on Adult Social Care due to
the predicted additional temporary impact of Omicron Covid-19 on individuals involved in
providing care and support.

The County Council Ethical Framework for Adult Social Care does not relieve the council’s
duties under the Care Act 2014, however it will allow the council to prioritise more
effectively where necessary. It will only be used where there is evidence to support its use
and the relevant process is followed. Where such difficult decisions need to be made, this
should always be within the remit of the Department of Health and Social Care’s Ethical
Framework for adult social care, to which the local authority must have regard.

Councillor Micheal Harrison is the authorities Executive Member for Adult Services and Health Integration, he says decisions made under the new framework will be recorded and revisited on a regular basis.

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