A COUNCIL boss has hailed the ‘incredible job’ done by York care workers as pressures caused by soaring Covid cases and the need for self isolation and emergency childcare continue to grow.

Ian Floyd, chief operating officer at City of York Council, said its adult social services department was currently running at ‘Opel level 3’ - the second worst of four ‘Operational Pressures Escalation Levels.’

Level 3 means the ‘local health and social care system is experiencing major pressures compromising patient flow.’

Mr Floyd said most of the UK was likely to be either at 3 or level 4, with the latter meaning organisations are unable to deliver comprehensive care, with potential for patient safety and care to be compromised.

He said this reflected well-documented pressures that the system was under after the exhausting pandemic response, a new increase in Covid cases and all the other pressures being faced, such as isolation and emergency childcare.

He said: “Our colleagues are doing an incredible job to keep delivering the care York needs.

“We’re closely monitoring that impact, and working with partners across the health sector to do whatever we can to relieve the pressure on our colleagues and the wider health system.”

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said the council’s position was ‘really serious’ and argued that it should be transparent to the community about the pressures it was experiencing, no matter the cause.

She said: “The fragmented social care system is broken, and is unable to withstand the unrelenting pressures it is under.”

The MP revealed that a care company had contacted her to say they were no longer able to run a full service, and she said that with a rise in infection rates and more people isolating, the situation would be even more challenging.

“For too long, staff have been under considerable pressure, on low pay and poor terms,” she said.

“They have been at the frontline in responding to the pandemic, and yet back of the queue to get a much promised pay rise.

“I have called for an end to the market and for local authorities, like York, to take their responsibilities seriously and run services in house.

“Until we have a full public integrated health and care system, free at the point of need, older and disabled people will continue to be put at risk. General Practice cannot cope with capacity and the hospital is also under considerable pressure.

“This was not inevitable, but is a result of Government failure to address fundamental challenges in the system. It feels like the whole health and care system has been broken by failed policy decisions, locally and nationally.”