County to axe 57 jobs in adult care

AT LEAST 57 full-time jobs will go in the first wave as Lincolnshire County Council reorganises its adult social care services.

The authority is “restructuring” care for vulnerable adults and this includes plans to put day centres like Spalding’s Chappell Centre into private hands and finding new providers to run respite care at the neighbouring Cedar House and Lincoln’s Swallow Lodge.

Part one of an “implementation document” shows full-time equivalent community supported living (CSL) posts dropping from 196.3 to 139. CSL staff work in people’s homes all over Lincolnshire.

Voluntary redundancy is being offered.

The yet-to-be published part two document is expected to cover jobs at The Chappell Centre and similar day care centres such as those at Bourne and Kirton.

Gill Thomas, workplace Unison representative at The Chappell Centre, said staff have not heard of any concrete proposals on staffing levels or possible future operators of the Spalding site.

She said: “It’s still very worrying times, I think, for everybody.

Miss Thomas said union members fear jobs may be shed to make day care centres more attractive to would-be private operators.

Veteran campaigner Maurice Chappell is among those fighting to keep The Chappell Centre open – and to make the county council stick to its pledge that the authority will continue to run it until “something as good or better” is in its place.

He said: “We are going to let them know that we have not gone away and forgotten about it.”

The county council says it is going through procurement processes and expects to have new providers for Cedar House and Swallow Lodge early next year.

Both respite centres are used by people from this area.

Richard Collins, the council’s head of strategic development for adult social care, says there have been expressions of interest in running adult day care centres.

He said: “We will be in a position to talk about these in more detail once further work has been carried out and all expressions of interest are finalised.”