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Park House still short of staff accommodation

The Council remains unable to guarantee accommodation to potential Park House employees.

An appeal was made to the community for help with staff housing at the public meeting following the announcement - now reversed - that the care home was to shut down.

At a subsequent special Council meeting, Members agreed to explore the option of "purchasing or building further property" and prioritise the allocation of General Fund housing for Council staff rather than using them for social tenants as they become available.

However, some new employees are still not being given accommodation. A new staff member recently wrote on social media that she had accepted a position but needed help finding somewhere to live.

The Council told This is Scilly: "Due to the limited housing stock and unpredictable availability, the Council can’t guarantee accommodation for prospective employees. We do our best to put prospective staff in touch with accommodation providers.

"There is still a shortage of affordable accommodation for new Council staff, a challenge shared by many of the islands’ other employers. This situation will not improve until more affordable homes are made available.

"In the case of Park House, the Council does maintain a property, Chy-An-Mor (right), which can accommodate three staff. When available, these rooms are offered to new staff (including Park House staff) who have no other accommodation secured on the islands."

Dr Adrian Davis, Lead Member for Adults, said in his report for Thursday's Full Council meeting that there are still "ongoing concerns around future sustainability", although the care home is operating safely in the short term.

He wrote: "The ever present problem of housing new staff, across the board, persists. Despite the availability, at present, of properties that could be utilised I am told that there has not been any decision taken.

"I hope that this situation will be resolved by my next report and would like to request that resource is committed to the acquisition of staff housing as soon as possible."

There have been a number of recent successes. A new Residential and Domiciliary Care Manager started at Park House on August 7 and a new Adult Social Care Manager will be in post later this month.

Dr Davis added in his report: "However there are still staff vacancies at the time of writing this report and there are ongoing concerns around future sustainability. The staff team are as dedicated as ever and I was pleased to see how well our new starters are progressing in their training.

"Meanwhile searching for care staff is an ongoing process aided by the excellent recruitment video now available online.

#ParkHouse #council

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