STAFF at Dorset Care have given the organisation positive ratings in a survey – although almost three quarters did not participate.

The findings are being reported to Dorset Council, which is to sole shareholder of the arms-length care provider, and its major commissioner of services since it was launched in October 2022.

Although most of the staff survey returns were in the 70 and 80 per cent positive range for items such as manager’s support, work-life balance, equality and diversity around a half of those who took part in the survey said the organisation did not do so well for ‘recognition and rewards.’ Among the figures not reported, but will be dealt with by the organisation are communication, senior management ‘visibilty’, especially for night workers, and transport.

Other issues raised in the report to councillors includes progress with replacing fire doors at some of the care homes run by the organisation with fire marshalls being employed at night, where needed, until the doors are improved.

Residential bed occupancy at the end of January was reported at 91 per cent, an increase of almost ten per cent, with three of the six residential care homes run by Care Dorset having more than 50 per cent of residents identified as having ‘high needs’.

The organisation also runs thirteen day services across the county which are reported to be out-performing against the original contract, offering a range of activities as well as add-on services such as bathing and outreach support.

Reablement beds are also offered by the organisation at three locations in Sherborne and Blandford Forum with 193 people supported between November 2023 and January 2024 with an average occupancy of 81 per cent and most people staying for under six weeks.

Some of the places have been used for people who are awaiting adaptations to their home after a period in hospital, freeing up NHS beds.

Said acting managing director, Chris Best: “Care Dorset continues to make positive progress and is grateful to Dorset Council colleagues for their support.”

Dorset councillors are being asked to endorse the update report when the council’s shareholder committee meets on Tuesday, February 27 in Dorchester.