A Cumbrian homecare provider says it is facing a staffing crisis as demand for its services soars.
Bellcare, in Workington, provides care to around 250 clients in their own homes.
Registered manager Debbie Ellwood said it currently has 120 staff, but is looking to take on more across all areas of the service.
However, she said it is becoming increasingly difficult to find enough people to fill the roles.
Debbie said: “It takes a special type of person to be a good carer and all our staff go through a rigorous interview process to ensure they offer the best service possible. Our high standards mean it can be a challenge to fill all the positions available.”
Debbie said the situation could become even more difficult if homecare staff are required to be double vaccinated against COVID-19.
From November 11, it will be a requirement for staff at care homes to be fully vaccinated. The measure does not yet apply to Bellcare because it provides care in people’s own homes.
However, Debbie said if the rules change it could add to the challenges it faces.
Care homes have already reported the vaccine requirement is putting people off signing up for jobs in that sector.
She said: “The safety of our clients is paramount and we have been encouraging all of our staff to get both vaccinations. Our staff also wear full PPE when visiting clients to eliminate any chance of passing on the virus.
“However, we all know there are people in the community that are reluctant to get vaccinated. If the rules change for homecare staff, this will create another challenge as we try and bring new people into the service.
“Of course, we will always follow the rules and do what’s best for our clients, but a requirement for staff to be vaccinated could create another hurdle for us to jump over at what is already a very difficult time.”