400 cases for social care at Christmas

Emergency social services teams dealt with almost 400 incidents over the festive period, ranging from mental health crises to children needing urgent foster care.

Emergency social services teams dealt with almost 400 incidents over the festive period, ranging from mental health crises to children needing urgent foster care.

Christmas is the busiest time of year for Norfolk County Council's social services which deals with incidents 24/7 including on Christmas and Boxing Days.

Extra staff were drafted in to provide support for the emergency duty team and so far they have responded to 390 incidents with this figure expected to almost double over New Year.

There were calls for older people who had fallen; or whose home care had not arrived when expected or who had suddenly fallen ill and needed extra help.


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Team manager Jo Felgate said: “As usual this was a really busy time of year for us and some of the issues that we have to deal with are quite serious. But a lot of work goes into ensuring that we are always prepared.

“We also have a rapid response team which can step in at short notice to support vulnerable people in their own home. Our out of hours dementia service has also been busy offering considerable support to the public over Christmas organising emergency respite care.”

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This year has also been a busy one for Norfolk County Council's Night Owls service which is part of the At Home Not Alone project and offers emergency visits and 'night sitting' throughout the evening/night for vulnerable people requiring practical and personal care.

Now staff are preparing themselves for the New Year when a team of social workers and support staff will have to deal with a similar number of calls and deal with very similar issues for members of the public who have seen 2008 get off to a less than happy start.

Chris Mowle, cabinet member for adult social services, said: “The work of Social Services never stops. I know that a lot of hard work and careful planning is carried out months before the Christmas period to make sure that the teams can deal with emergencies in the same professional way that they do throughout the year.

“I want to pay tribute to all the staff who are helping vulnerable people when most of us are enjoying time spent with family and friends."

Social Services can be contacted on 0844 800 8014.

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